C.A.R.E. building and off-campus locations open for in-person visits

Published 11:45 am Friday, May 15, 2020

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In-person clinic visits are now an option again at the C.A.R.E. Building of VCU Health CMH and other off-campus locations including Clarksville Primary Care, Chase City Primary Care as well as Tanglewood Family Practice. For the safety of patients and staff, various restrictions have been implemented.

“We want to assure our patients and their families that it is safe to come to the hospital, and we ask them not to ignore health symptoms that can become major health issues if left unchecked,” Dr. Ike Ibe, vice president of medical affairs at VCU Health CMH, said.

Calling ahead to schedule an appointment is required, walk-ins will not be accepted.

Patients will undergo a COVID-19 specific medical screening over the phone before their appointment. If the patient screens positive for respiratory symptoms over the phone – such as fever, cough and shortness of breath – they will be asked to stay home, and their provider will be notified. The provider will then be in contact with the patient to determine the appropriate course of action – i.e. a telehealth appointment or a face-to-face appointment. Those screening positive in person will be asked to return to their car to await further medical evaluation.

One accompanying person per patient will be allowed if a patient needs assistance. The person assisting the patient will be medically screened prior to being allowed into the C.A.R.E. Building or other off-site clinics. Should they have respiratory symptoms, the person assisting the patient will be asked to return to their vehicle for further medical evaluation.

All patients entering the C.A.R.E. Building or other clinics are required to wear a face mask and are encouraged to sanitize hands frequently.

Screeners at the entrance of the C.A.R.E. Building will not allow patients to enter more than 10 minutes prior to their appointment time; patients arriving more than 10 minutes early will be asked to return to their vehicle and wait.

Waiting areas have been reconfigured to accommodate social distancing and limit capacity to ensure six-feet-apart distances. These areas will be monitored and crowding will be addressed in real time. Signage and floor markings indicate safe social distancing protocols. Waiting in the car is also an option.

Only one visitor/family will be allowed in the elevator at a time (for C.A.R.E. Building appointments).

It is very important that elderly and medically vulnerable patients stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to have an in-person visit. Medical providers will determine face-to-face visits on a case-by-case basis and telehealth is still an option. Providers will split their time equally between face-to-face clinic visits and telehealth visits.

“I want patients to know that we have taken every step possible to ensure they have a safe visit with us and encourage them not to delay needed care,” Dr. Brenda Palmore, vice president of Practice Management and Business Development, said.