As the famous quote by writer Miguel de Cervantes tells us, “being prepared is half the battle.” This motto has always been a key driver for Reliance Medical Centers, who’s operational philosophy is driven by preparation and planning. The only way to provide patients the care they deserve when they need it most is to ensure that the appropriate services and protocols are in place well in advance. Planning for COVID-19 is no different.
At Reliance Medical Centers, the COVID-19 preparation team, headed by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carlos Romero, has spent the last 60 days planning for the arrival of the virus in the Lakeland and Winter Haven Communities. “We have developed our COVID-19 response to take into consideration our patients, our staff, and the community as a whole.” Explained Dr. Romero. He went on, “From day one, we started implementing a range of actions, and we have progressively evolved our response and preparedness as more information about the virus has come to light.”
So how does a leading primary health care clinic prepare for a new virus? Here is an overview of the action Reliance Medical Centers have taken over the last couple of months to make ready for COVID-19.
Increased facility hygiene and sanitization. Reliance’s first step has been to immediately increase hygiene and sanitization protocols at the Reliance Medical Centers in Lakeland and Winter Haven, as well as with their chauffeur-driven transport. Ensuring that all of their facilities are as clean as possible and ensuring that staff diligently follow hygiene procedures will go some way to minimizing the risk of any patients or staff catching the virus.
Introduction of a specific COVID-19 triage protocol. Reliance has also introduced a specific COVID-19 triage protocol. It is available to anyone in the community. If someone is concerned they may have come in contact with a person carrying the virus, or if they feel that they may have the virus, then they can call Reliance, who will be able to review the patients’ circumstances and advise what action to take.
Introduction of a COVID-19 call-out testing service. If a patient calls in and is identified as needing a test, Reliance has set up a mobile clinical team that will go to the patient to take a sample for immediate testing. It allows the patient to remain isolated in the comfort of their own home and eliminates the possibility of bringing the infection into the clinics. Smart!
Furthermore, Reliance will induct the patient into the patient monitoring program, where every 24-48 hours patient will be contacted to monitor progress. If the test comes back negative, then the patient will be advised, and an appropriate action plan recommended. If the patient’s test is positive, then the patient will be continuously monitored to determine if any further action is required depending on the severity of their symptoms.
Introduction of a segregated COVID-19 testing area at the Lakeland and Winter Haven Clinics. While both Reliance clinics are walk-in friendly, in the event a person arrives at either facility showing symptoms of the virus, Reliance has also set up a segregated safe area. Here, a trained, dedicated clinical team can take samples for immediate testing, away from other patients or staff. Again, once the patient returns home, the patient will be inducted into the monitoring program.
Introduction of Phone Consults. This initiative is for any patient that does not feel comfortable coming to visit the clinic in person but wants to consult with a doctor or registered nurse about a condition they may be experiencing. This service will ensure that no matter what, every patient can gain direct access to a doctor without having to feel anxious about a personal visit.
There has been a great deal of consideration put into setting up and implementing these initiatives. Even so, this is not where it ends. The Reliance COVID-19 preparation team will continuously monitor the latest developments and discuss them to determine if any exiting initiatives need adjusting or need to be added. As Alexander Graham Bell once said, preparation is the key to success; and, as Reliance Medical Centers know, it’s also the key to delivering priority healthcare!
Reliance Medical Centers
3655 Innovation Dr.
Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Lab: 7am – 4pm
111 Avenue A SE
Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
Lab: 7am – 4pm