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Coronavirus Updates, Your Health | 3 years ago

Coronavirus: Patient Care That’s Truly for All

Atrium Health is committed to caring for all patients, now and always. See how we’re helping individuals across our communities get the care they need.

At Atrium Health, caring for everyone is such a big part of who we are, it’s in our mission statement: to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all.

As we learn more about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we’re seeing that anyone can become infected and pass the virus onto others. “We see representation across all age groups, racial lines, ethnicities and more,” says Amina Ahmed, MDan Atrium Health infectious disease doctor who specializes in pediatrics. “This affects a broad swath of society.”

The virus affects all of us in one way or another. And we’re opening our hearts even wider to find innovative ways to ensure all patients receive the best quality healthcare and support. See a few ways we’re caring for allin the communities we serve.

Meeting underserved communities where they are

While we’re all vulnerable to the virus, not everyone has the same access to technology or transportation to get screened or tested. If there are patients who can’t get to us for help, we’re finding ways to go to them.

Our mobile units go to underserved and minority communities in Charlotte, who often face the greatest barriers to healthcareUsing technology to identify emerging coronavirus hotspots, we’re meeting patients where they are – delivering more convenient access to coronavirus screenings and tests. 

Community members don’t need technology to make an appointment or transportation to go to a screening site. All they have to do is walk up, and we make sure they’re taken care of.

Making virtual care more affordable – and easier, too

Now that almost all doctors visits have gone virtual, we’re taking extra steps to help patients reach us remotely.

Making virtual care more affordable

We’ve alwaysbeen dedicated to making sure all patients get the healthcare they need, regardless of their ability to pay. And the same applies to helping patients with coronavirus symptoms get virtual care – whether they’re insured or not: 

Helping seniors navigate virtual care

Although coronavirus can infect people of all ages, seniors (65+) are still considered higher risk. And many of these individualsare using virtual healthcare for the very first time. 

The good news is Medicare is temporarily expanding its coverage for virtual care services during coronavirus. But even so, change can be confusing and scary. That’s why we’re helping patients of all ages navigate this unfamiliar territory with education through flyers and online training, plus helpful how-to videos:

Even when they’re not seeking medical care, we’re helping our higher risk patients stay safe. See our list of stores with special hours just for seniorssothey can get groceries when it’s less crowded. 

Providing interpretationservices for over 200 languages

Education and awareness are key to preventing the spread of coronavirus. And to ensure our community members know how to protect themselves – and get care if they need it – we’re working hard to communicate in the way they’re most comfortable.This includes:

  • Phone interpretationservices: Individuals with coronavirus symptoms or questions can call our 24/7 Health Line at 704-468-8888, where interpreters in over 200 languages are available.
  • Online coronavirus resource in Spanish: Spanish-speaking individuals can access information about coronavirus assessments, care and frequently asked questions – all in Spanish.
  • Sign language for in-person careIf individualswho are deaf or hard-of-hearing require in-person medical careour facilities have healthcare professionals who can communicate in American Sign Language (ASL).

Keeping personal information private, including immigration status

Nothing should prevent you from getting the care you need to get better. Our patients’ health, well-being and safety are our top priorities. For this reason, we keep all patient information private, including immigration status, and patients will not be referred to authorities if they’re undocumented. 

Coronavirus is a public health concern, which means we do need to let the health department know about patients who testpositive – this helps us measure and control infection rates. But rest assured all information submitted is private. 

In fact, healthcare facilities are considered sensitive locations, and according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) most recent statement, “ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities.” 

Helping victims of domestic violence

While staying home is supposed to be the best way to protect each other from coronavirus, it’s not a safe place for victims of domestic violence, or violent or aggressive behavior at homeIn addition to providing medical care, we want to help these victims access the support and resources they need

ThroughAtrium Health’s Domestic Violence Healthcare Project, a local partnership, victims of domestic violence can findfree, 24-hour advocacy support. This includes connection to necessary resources, such as emergency shelters, support groups, services for children and teens, and more.  

Connecting patients to mental health resources

1 in 4 Americans experiences a mental health issue, and coronavirus is leading to increased anxiety in many. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and think you may need help, call our 24/7 Behavioral Health Help Line at 704-444-2400, and speak to a licensed professional.

In the wake of even the most difficult times, quality care should never discriminate. And at Atrium Health, it doesn’t. No matter your age, race or socioeconomic status – regardless of where you come from or your personal history – Atrium Health will provide you with compassionate care, now and always.