CROWLEY, La. (KLFY)- One health care clinic in Crowley is taking precautions to protect their patients during the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have prided ourselves in trying to keep our well patients in the lobby and our sicker patients at a specially designated and curbside place right outside the office to evaluate them (where we can) get pertinent histories,” Dr. Robert J. Aertker, Internal Medicine Physician at Crowley Primary Care, said.
“We’ll be able to listen to them, examine them, a physical exam, and then at the same time, be able to test them for appropriate flu, other tests, and even COVID-19, if we think it’s warranted by CDC guidelines.”
Dr. Aertker is one of four doctors at Crowley Primary Care seeing all kinds of patients from pediatrics to geriatrics.
When a patient comes to their office door, there is a sign stating to stop if you are experiencing fever, cough and/or congestion, shortness of breath or if you’ve had exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
The patient is instructed to call a phone number to reach their office staff… preventing the patient from entering the lobby where healthy patients may be.
That’s where the curbside service outside their clinic comes into play.
“We’ve tested as of yesterday, 3 patients which we felt criteria and because of the local travel history, more so in the south of the state, we felt that they were warranted and further more that kind of catapults us to a position where we are further modifying how we are dealing with patients in the office who are well,” added Dr. Aertker.A patient showing COVID-19 symptoms is instructed to stay in their car.
Doctors, fully masked and with gloves and gowns on, examine the patient and if necessary, administer the COVID-19 test.
“I think the most important balance in between concern and worry is be concerned, listen to the people who are educated about this and follow the advice on all levels so that we do not develop into a point or state of worry which is what we’re trying to avoid,” explained Dr. Aertker.
Crowley Primary Care is privately-owned and Dr. Aertker said Telemedicine is available for patients if they would prefer a virtual doctor visit instead of having to come into the office.