April 1, 2020 Update: We have cancelled all in person office visits until April 13, 2020. The COVID-19 crisis is surreal. We are already managing more COVID patients than I ever expected to. It was only a few weeks ago that everything appeared so normal. COVID-19 has affected us all in so many different ways (physically, mentally, economically, and more). When we get to the other side of this pandemic, I would like to think the world will be better off and we have learned to be a more compassionate and kinder place. This crisis has made me think back to the similarities from the 1980’s AIDS epidemic. I was a brand-new young doctor at the time. Caring for HIV patients since 1980 has influenced my life in so many ways. It made me a better physician. Perhaps COVID-19 will do the same for others. Read more abouttelemedical visits and “drive by” COVID-19, our in-office influenza testing platform and new equipment that will be able to provide 15 minutes point-of-care COVID results.
March 26, 2020 Update: Acting out of an abundance of caution we have cancelled all in person office visits until April 13, 2020. Your health and safety is our first concern. The COVID virus may not have affected you personally right now, but it most likely will. We must protect our staff and patients during this highly infectious stage of the Coronavirus. Too many of our patients are at a high risk for a variety or reasons, and this is one of the reasons why I have chosen to change our operations. Again, I'm doing this out of an abundance of caution.
We are still available for you as this is our top priority.We are still answering the phone and scheduling visits with all five of our medical providers. These visits will be online or by telephone. If you are unable to schedule a virtual online visit with us we return your calls as soon as we can. You can also schedule your own telemedical visit without calling using our Patient Portal. It's downloadable and the app is called HEALOW.
You can help us out by not calling right now if it's a routine matter.
Please have refills sent electronically through your pharmacist.
Please call during business hours and not after unless it's urgent. We are working beyond our capacity and need our rest when we can get it.
We are following our patients of concern with daily telephone calls. We want to keep our patients out of the hospitals unless it's absolutely necessary.
March 23, 2020 Update: We are suspending evening clinic until further notice. To serve you better and keep you safe we are transitioning as many visits as appropriate to telemedical visits from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Thursday. If you have not already done so, patients should download the Healow app from the app store to communicate with us electronically.
We will inform you if you need to be seen at our clinic on the telemedical visit. Most insurances are covering telemedical visits, although there is a possibility you may be charged for them. We may have you do a drive through COVID-19 culture or refer you to an MHP clinic to have that done. Please keep non-essential telephone calls to us at a minimum. We are refilling most medications without requiring you to come to the office. Routine refills should go through your pharmacist to us electronically. Read more
Taking care of our patients is at the center of everything we do. We value the trust you place in us every day. We take this responsibility seriously, so I want to share with you some of the steps we are taking for you and our Be Well Medical team.
In addition to sanitizing exam rooms in between each patient, we are sanitizing all countertops, knobs, bathrooms, keyboards, and other frequently touched surfaces every other hour or more often as we see fit. This include the phlebotomy lab and pharmacy.
Because every patient encounter is unique, individual care decisions require independent medical judgement. We ask all patients with symptoms of the flu or uncertainty of a viral infection, to let us know before coming to the office. We may be asking you to enter our office through a private entrance in the back of the building and avoid using the reception room. We might place you in a negative air pressure exam room to minimize exposure to others.
Our telephone call volume is tremendous. We are requesting if you need to talk to a Provider, try to schedule a telemedical visit using our Healow portal or call the receptionist to assist you with this. We are designating a Provider to be available quickly for telemedical visits. This method can reduce unnecessary visits to the office and we are pleased to offer you this virtual care. Also, for routine refill requests, please go through your pharmacy to request this electronically. Reducing telephone traffic will help us tremendously to better serve you.
Masks are available to those who require it.
Deferral of routine medical visits and wellness exams should be considered for patients with any chronic condition or being over the age of 60. Due to uncertainty, this includes individuals living with HIV.
Use good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases
Learn about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Not everyone requires testing for this virus.
The first line of defense is to stay healthy. You can boost your immune system by eating nutritiously, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Please refer to our podcast on “Why We Sleep” to discover sleep’s benefits that can be found on our website www.doctorbewell.com
Supplements such as multiple vitamins, turmeric, CBD, or Riboceine may be of benefit to boost your immune system. There may also be some benefit from reducing carbohydrates.
STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, and advise others to do the same.
Communicate and reinforce best practices for covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.Avoid large gatherings.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and warm water are not available.You can make your own by using 2 parts 99% rubbing alcohol with 1part gel.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (computers, keyboards, desks, etc.). You can make your own disinfectant using ¾ cup of household bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Implement social distancing measures as feasible, it’s not a good time to meet people found on social media. Substitute elbow taps or winks for handshakes.
Now is not the time to panic. A public health nurse friend of ours provided me with the following link that puts COVID-19 in perspective. It is https://youtu.be/6dDD2tHWWnU. We encourage you to monitor the CDC website https://www.cdc.govfor additional information as this rapidly developing public health matter changes.
The entire staff of the Be Well Medical Center is centered around enriching lives and keeping our community healthy. Thank you for your continued trust. Paul Benson, D.O.