As the weather changes and we seem to be inching towards winter a lot faster these days. Sickness, flu, and COVID-19 questions start to arise. Let me clarify a few things as a resource for your health care this fall/winter.
Sicknesses such as strep, ear infections, stomach bugs, etc. are still around, unfortunately. But fortunately, Greater Regional Health is here to care for you. Greater Regional Urgent Care at its new location has a bigger waiting room to give the social distancing to patients that are utilizing this service. Remember urgent care is open Sunday through Saturday, weekdays open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please enter through the new urgent care vestibule and walk through a glass door and turn left and the newly relocated Greater Regional Urgent Care since March is there! Masks are required to be worn in the urgent care.
Our primary care providers are upstairs in the Medical Arts Plaza ready to care for your family’s needs as well. Keeping up with your annual appointments and your kid’s well-child checks are extremely important this time of year. So, check your calendars and get those appointments booked! Keep in mind we continue to make patient safety a high priority. What does that mean? Wait times might be a bit longer due to extra sanitization of rooms. Pre-registration is an option when you receive your appointment reminders to cut down on contact during registration. Also, telehealth or virtual health is an option that might work for you or your family.
Let’s do some real talk about flu. Why should you get the flu shot? “Even if you get the flu, it’s been shown to decrease the severity, the duration of the illness, decreases your risks of being hospitalized or dying, especially in those high-risk age groups,” stated Dr. Amy Hynek McFarland, Director of Infection Prevention and general surgeon here at Greater Regional. Make sure to check out the days and times Union County Public Health is having their Flu Clinic or if you are a patient of Greater Regional Primary Clinics, check out how you can get your flu shot!
resources & communication
I would like to start by re-stating that Greater Regional Health’s top priority during this pandemic is patient and employee safety. During this fluid health crisis, Greater Regional remains vigilant in using Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines and recommendations when making critical decisions of implantation of rules and regulations. Keep in mind when Greater Regional is communicating to the public about the top of COVID-19 we are utilizing these key resources, and we encourage our patients to use the same for their own inquires.
The goal of Greater Regional Health’s communication regarding COVID-19 is to empower our patients, employees and community members to understand where reliable information is found. As always Greater Regional Health will continue to inform and update community members when vital information has evolved. In order to best serve our diverse public, Greater Regional uses multiple media platforms.
Please consider looking at several of our communication platforms:
Greater Regional Health’s website (www.greaterregional.org)
This blog 😊
Articles in your local papers
Social media (a shameless plug for you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and listen to our podcast-found on where you listen to your podcasts!)
Updates with your local radio stations
We strive for transparency and being a reliable resource to educate and inform our patients and community members.
You reach out. We listen. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding Greater Regional Health during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Can Greater Regional Health handle Covid-19 cases? Yes, we can handle diagnosing, testing, and treating COVID-19 patients. If/when during treatment the patient needs further assistance that is outside our Critical Access Hospital setting Greater Regional has a transfer agreement with UnityPoint Health Des Moines.
Greater Regional is not prepared for an increase in COVID-19 cases. False. Greater Regional has appropriate amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to care of our patients. As always, GRH is prepared for fluid situations that may call for fluctuating supplies. If/when this occurs, we will follow policies and procedures that have been set in place with the guidance of the CDC and IDPH.
Greater Regional does not have ventilators or specialized breathing equipment to handle severe cases of COVID-19. False. Greater Regional has 6 ventilators, nebulizers and other equipment to handle severe COVID-19 cases. We have appropriate transfer equipment that allow us to transfer patients if they become severe enough go to a hospital that is a higher level than a Critical Access Hospital.
Is every COVID-19 cases the same and do all people react the same to treatments? No. Greater Regional Health recognizes that each patient is unique, which means each treatment course is unique. Greater Regional has a plan in place for conditions in which we can treat at our hospital, or if the case is severe enough to be transferred. During this pandemic all situations are different and unique, your situation or condition may not be the same as your family member or friend. Greater Regional Health asks you to keep this in mind when receiving treatments. If you do have questions or concerns about the plan of you or your loved one’s care, please reach out to Greater Regional Health to explain your concerns.
How do I stay informed if Greater Regional Health does not share daily or weekly updates? Easy. Greater Regional updates and shares COVID-19 related information on many platforms during many different times. If you aren’t satisfied with what GRH is updating, please familiarize yourself with the following websites*:
*These are the same websites Greater Regional Health is using to update the public and communicate to them.