Stanford Health Care creates clinic for COVID-19 patients
A new clinic provides specialized care for patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus but don’t need to be hospitalized. The clinic is isolated from other patient care areas to protect those who aren’t infected.
Health care providers at the clinic stay in touch with patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus but don’t require hospital care. They also treat injuries and other problems unrelated to the disease.
“It’s a safe place where we can manage their symptoms and keep them out of the emergency department if it’s not necessary,” said Christopher Lentz, RN, the clinic manager.
The clinic is known as CROWN, an acronym for care and respiratory observation of patients with novel coronavirus. It’s on the first floor of Hoover Pavilion. A separate entrance ensures that CROWN patients remain distant from non-COVID-19 patients visiting express care and other clinics in the pavilion.
Caregivers check on CROWN patients regularly. The frequency depends on their risk factors — age, severity of symptoms and underlying conditions. Caregivers speak with patients by phone, hold video visits or ask them to come into the clinic, where they can provide inhalers, painkillers or even oxygen to help manage symptoms.
“If they’re high-risk and we’re worried about them, we follow them very closely with video visits and in-person visits to make sure that they are doing well,” said Maja Artandi, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine and medical director of CROWN. “It’s very scary to be diagnosed with COVID-19."
Staffed with a physician and a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, plus other health care professionals, the clinic cares for COVID-19 patients who have a Stanford primary care physician or who have been referred by clinicians at any of several Stanford Health Care testing sites.
CROWN clinicians follow the patients for two or three weeks, until they no longer have symptoms and are no longer contagious. The clinicians also see patients suspected of having COVID-19 who need urgent care.
Artandi and Lentz noted that fewer patients are showing up at hospitals and clinics for fear of contracting the coronavirus. They expect that a separate clinic for COVID-19 patients will reassure patients with other health issues that visiting express care and other Stanford Health Care clinics is safe.
“We’re hoping this will ease patients’ fears,” Lentz said.
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