Katina Huff, PA-C at Providence Family Medicine, would like her patients and the general public to understand what the medical community is doing to keep patients safe during this unprecedented pandemic.
As a member of the Cumberland Center for Healthcare Innovation, Huff, along with over 200 doctors and physician extenders who serve the Upper Cumberland area, is adamant about keeping up-to-date on all of the latest news and precautions about COVID-19 as well as patient health care.
“We are seeing a decrease of people getting routine med refills and wellness checks because of a fear of being in a doctor’s office,” Huff said.
Doctors’ offices around the region are being proactive in trying their very best to keep everyone safe yet keep them healthy.
“We take the spread of this virus very seriously,” she said. “We bring any patient that could have been even remotely exposed in through the back door, and they are contained to only one exam room. We thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces when the patient leaves as well as the area surrounding the entrance and exit. Masks are required for all suspected COVID-related symptoms and highly suggested if you come into our waiting room. We will allow our patients to do a virtual check in by phone, and then they can wait in the comfort of their car until we have a sanitized room available. This keeps contact to the absolute minimum.”
Providence Family Medicine offers rapid testing for their patients and companies that are contracted with them. While the testing is done on site by a Certified Medical Assistant outfitted with full PPE (personal protective equipment), the test is administered outside of the building and patients remain in their cars for the 15 minutes that it takes to receive the results from the rapid test.
Huff warned that rapid tests can sometimes give a false sense of safety if done too early from the time of exposure. She suggested that it is best to wait at least five days from potential exposure for the first test and, should the results be negative, she suggested re-testing in five to seven days.
Throat swabs and nasal swabs are also available, but the result times vary due to the extreme volume of testing that is being processed at this time.