Testing & Telehealth (COVID-19)

Please watch this 2 minute video for a quick update.
 
Also scheduling information can be found at the homepage.
 
In order to decrease unnecessary exposure, testing is being directed at those at risk for hospitalization. Mild cases are often advised to stay home and monitor for fever > 102F, or worsening respiratory symptoms, but this information should not be applied without discernment. Using video visits physicians across the country are delivering health care. Although at first video visits seemed to be a technology experiment, home visits via video conferencing, are quickly becoming a vital part of combating this pandemic.
 
We are learning about patterns of illness in various age groups that are guiding our decisions to test or recommend someone stay home. Telehealth evaluations allow assessment and triage for appropriate care.  Though I am a specialist in sports medicine and the past weeks of video visits have been focused on orthopedic injuries in my personal practice, we are now also directing care for people suspecting COVID. My background in family medicine is proving very useful at this time.
 
Be mindful of diet

As the number of people infected continues to escalate, >50,000 confirmed cases in the US, there is an increasing burden on our systems for delivering healthcare. In light of that please consider using the telehealth platforms linked here to obtain an evaluation. At this time I will consult via the video visit platform to help coordinate your care. A telehealth encounter is now necessary for me to coordinate medical treatment at our fever and cough clinics. Testing can and will be ordered through the medical health record as part of your referral to a fever & cough clinic.  So please use the platform linked below to schedule.
 
Columbia Doctors – Schedule an Appointment 
 
OR
 
New York Presbyterian Hospital Urgent Care
 
priority-testing-patients
 
 
Personal protective equipment remains in short supply.  Please conserve surgical masks, gowns, and gloves.  Those who are suspected of infection, but are stable are advised to quarantine, use a surgical mask, avoid sharing spaces and houseware. The following is an example of the instructions being provided to those who are stable for discharge that are deemed to be safe for treatment at home.
 

Those suspecting a diagnosis of COVID:

  • Wear a mask 

  • Do not use public transportation.

  • It is best for you to walk, but if you have to take a car, have the patient wear a mask and leave the window open.

  • Stay home and not to go out unless directed by a physician to go to hospital.  

    • GET AN APPOINTMENT ASAP VIA TELE-HEALTH FOR EVALUATION IF YOU SUSPECT COVID.

       

  • Help with basic needs in home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs. Wear a mask when around other people.

  • DO NOT go to work, school, or public areas, such as stores or movie theaters, or social gatherings.

  • Reschedule medical/dental appointments – reschedule the appointment and go when well.

  • Avoid having visitors until well.

    *Separate the patient from others and pets at home:

    • If available, have the patient stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom.

    • Care for the patient’s pets. Minimize patient contact with their pets.

Hand hygiene:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself while washing hands). You can use hand sanitizer containing alcohol if soap and water is not available.

  • If using hand sanitizer with alcohol, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub hands together until dry.

  • Use soap and water if your hands look dirty.

 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Clean your hands if you do touch your face.

  • Try to minimize physical contact; avoid hand-shaking.

  • Have the patient wash their hands often.

Respiratory hygiene:

  • Always have a tissue available for the patient to cover their mouth and nose when he/she coughs and sneezes. If a tissue is not available, ask them to cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve (not hands).

  • Throw tissues away in trashcan that has a bag in it. Empty your trash daily.

  • ALWAYS wash your hands after you throw away the tissue or garbage.

  • No smoking or vaping. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can make symptoms worse.

    *Do not share household items:

    • Do not share cups, plates, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or clothes • Always wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

FOR CARETAKERS:

  • Clean “often touched” surfaces each day:

    • Wear a facemask and gloves if you touch any blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, or urine.

    • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.

    • Wear gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body.

    • Follow the sequence below to remove personal protective items:

      •   Step 1: remove and dispose of gloves in a container that has a bag in it

      •   Step 2: wash your hands

      •   Step 3: remove and dispose of facemask in the same container

      •   Step 4: wash your hands

    • After the patient uses items, such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

    • Place patient’s laundry in a washable bag. Read and follow directions on labels of laundry and detergent. Use normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.

      Monitor the patient’s symptoms:

• Monitor the patient’s symptoms. Seek medical attention right away if the patient’s symptoms get worse, such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face.

  • Before you seek care, call the doctor and explain that the patient has COVID-19 or is being evaluated for COVID-19.

  • Put on a face mask for the patient before entering the facility.

______________________________________________________________________________________

When to end home isolation if the patient is positive for COVID-19:

• The patient should stay on home isolation until these 3 things have happened:


1. The patient has no fever for at least 72 hours (3 full days) without taking medicines that treat fever like Tylenol or aspirin.
2. The patient’s other symptoms, such as cough, have improved.
3. At least 7 days have passed since the patient’s symptoms started.

For more information:

  • Visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or the NewYork-Presbyterian website at www.nyp.org.

  • Call the NewYork-Presbyterian COVID-19 hotline at 646-697-4000.

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