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Wearing masks helps us keep each other safe. Masks are required in our facilities.

If you cannot wear a mask, contact your care team before you visit to discuss telehealth. Patients and visitors not wearing masks will not be permitted to enter.

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The Care You Need, Available Now

April 29, 2020

Most of us know we should watch for symptoms of COVID-19: fever, cough and difficulty breathing. And if we have symptoms, we should call our doctor. But what if we have other healthcare needs?

The University of Kansas Health System is seeing and scheduling patients. Please do not delay in obtaining medical care for routine, specialty or chronic needs. We are committed to the safety of our patients and staff in providing timely, quality care – during the pandemic and always.

You can seek our care with confidence. To safeguard our patients, visitors and staff, we have made some changes to the services we offer – and the way we offer them.

Here's a handy guide to help you understand your options for receiving care unrelated to COVID-19 during the pandemic and beyond.

Emergency care

Our emergency department has remained open and available throughout the pandemic. Call 911 or go to the ED if you have:

  • Traumatic injury, including severe burns and compound fractures
  • Heart attack or chest pain
  • Stroke or symptoms of stroke
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exposure to poison
  • Concern for brain injury or concussion

In-person appointments

Certain appointments require in-person visits. Contact your healthcare provider's office to see if your need requires an in-person appointment. Some of the many needs that require a traditional visit include:

  • Cancer treatments
  • Injuries such as tendon or ligament tears, non-compound fractures, etc.
  • Prenatal appointments
  • Chronic illnesses, especially those that require regular blood tests

If your care does require an in-person appointment, know that our health system is taking all necessary safety precautions, including asking staff and patients to wear PPE. We have a designated unit for COVID-19 patients, so you will not be exposed. Visitors are not allowed to attend appointments with patients at this time. We may even ask you to wait in your car, rather than in a waiting room, and will check you in by phone so you can bypass the front desk.

We also offer telehealth follow-up appointments for many healthcare needs. You can receive follow-up care without leaving your home.

Telehealth

Many routine and chronic healthcare needs can be met using telehealth, which electronically connects a care provider with a patient. Telehealth is a convenient, efficient option to address many healthcare needs including, for example:

  • A prescription for allergy symptoms, urinary tract infections, rashes, strep throat and other conditions
  • Ongoing management of diabetes, heart disease, cancer survivorship and other chronic conditions
  • Psychiatry and behavioral health appointments, such as counseling for anxiety and depression
  • Primary care appointments

There are several types of telehealth visits. Our scheduling team can help you plan the right one based on your medical needs and your technology capabilities.

  • A telehealth video visit offers live communication between you and your provider and requires your device to have audio and video.
  • A telephone visit allows you to receive care in phone communication with your provider.
  • Care messaging entails communicating with your care team through the MyChart messaging center.
  • An e-visit allows established adult patients to receive care from a nurse practitioner by smartphone or computer.

Surgery

Our health system postponed many surgeries due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Delaying nonurgent procedures helped us make important preparations for COVID-19 care. We continued to perform essential surgeries and now are thoughtfully, gradually rescheduling those that were delayed.

As we reconnect with patients to plan their procedures, we are considering a number of factors. We are first scheduling surgical patients who require only local or regional anesthesia and who do not require an overnight hospital stay. We are evaluating the surgical staff needed for each surgery or procedure and ensuring we can observe physical distancing and protect patients and staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) in closer spaces.

We have implemented a variety of important process changes.

  • We continue our no-visitors policy with limited exceptions.
  • We strongly encourage a COVID-19 test for patients 48 hours before surgery both for patient and staff safety and to achieve the best outcome.
  • We screen all who enter our facilities, including employees, and take temperatures.
  • We continue to practice safety guidelines including use of PPE, hand hygiene and physical distancing – such as reduced time in waiting areas, spacing seating at least 6 feet apart and managing patient volumes.

 

Always here for you

Our care team is here for you – before, during and after this pandemic. Call your provider's office or 913-588-1227 to describe your need and work with our scheduling team to determine the best visit type for you. Routine and chronic care are important. We are here to provide it safely and effectively.

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