We have been following closely the Coronavirus spread and want to provide accurate information regarding COVID-19.
Check the Alabama Department of Public Health site for daily updates on Alabama COVID-19 cases: http://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html
You can follow the confirmed cases within the United States by checking this map: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
There is an extensive amount of information being shared regarding Coronavirus. We strongly advise you to be cautious about your sources of information. Please check this page for the most updated information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html.
What are we doing at Innova for you during COVID-19?
Telehealth Visits Offered to all patients!
To aid with social distancing, we are offering telehealth visits to all our current patients. If you have an upcoming appointment with us scheduled for a well visit (like a physical or follow up on lab results), we are proactively calling you to ask if you would like to keep this appointment or convert to a televisit. My team is working on this all throughout the day and is currently contacting patients with appointments at the end of this week and into next week.
- For our high-risk patients, we are strongly encouraging you to convert your visit to a telehealth visit and stay at home and practice social distancing. You are high risk if you are older than 60 years old or have heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, lung disease like COPD or Asthma or an immunocompromising condition. However, if you prefer to come into the office, we are taking every precaution to ensure you are isolated from any sick patients that may be in the office. Please see below for more details.
- For sick visits, you may have a televisit or an in-office visit. Please let us know at the time of scheduling which you prefer. If you come into the office, we will ask you to put on a facemask upon entry to our building.
- Cost of Televisits:
- Most insurances have allowed for temporary coverage of televisits for most visit types as it normally would in the office (with copays and deductibles applying). We will collect your copay over the phone at the time of scheduling your televisit.
- Rescheduling appointments for a later date
- We strongly encourage you to utilize your option of telehealth visits rather than cancelling to reschedule later. We are not yet rescheduling visits because we do not know yet when will be a safe time to reschedule them.
COVID-19 Testing at Innova
Yes, we are testing for COVID-19 at Innova. Supplies throughout the US are extremely limited. We are testing currently for patients who are high risk due to a highly likely exposure or who are high risk for getting very sick from the disease (due to their chronic conditions or age). We would love to test everyone but it is simply not possible. We are handling this on a case by case basis to assess each individual to determine their need for testing.
- We are utilizing multiple labs for testing including the ADPH State Lab as well as multiple commercial laboratories to have as much access for our patients as possible.
- If you suspect you may have COVID-19, we encourage you to schedule a televisit with us first to help us assess if you need to be tested.
Precautions taken at Innova to keep patients safe
- Continuing the standard protocols for infection control that we have always used such as:
- Hand hygiene using soap and water or hand sanitizer prior to and after contact with our guests.
- Cleaning rooms and all surfaces in room after each guest with hospital grade disinfectant.
- Rooming guests as quickly as possible to a private room within our clinic area.
- Proper protective equipment for all employees.
- Sick employees remaining at home.
- Separating sick guests from well guests into different wings of our lobby area during sick seasons.
- Surfaces cleaned in lobby area every 30 minutes with hospital grade disinfectant that kills Coronavirus and check-in kiosks cleaned with same cleaner after each guest use.
- Seating separated by a minimum of 6 ft within the sick lobby area.
- For our exam rooms, we are separating sick exam rooms and well exam rooms in different wings of our clinic area.
- Requiring anyone with cough, respiratory symptoms or fever to wear a face mask upon entry to our building.
- Education and training for Innova employees regarding accurate information about COVID-19, risk factors and exposure reduction.
- Employees wearing N95 respirator masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection when performing high risk procedures such as nebulizer treatments and collecting nasal swab samples for testing.
Other precautions we are using when needed:
- Containing sick patients with symptoms of Coronavirus within their cars for testing.
- Use of exterior area for triage of sick patients outside of our building with 6 ft distance between other patients.
What you can do to help protect yourself and others
- Practice Social Distancing in all possible scenarios. Keep a distance of 6 ft between people even if a small number of people are gathered together.
- Use Cough Etiquette – this means if you are coughing/sneezing make sure you are coughing/sneezing into a Kleenex then disposing of the Kleenex immediately (or if Kleenex not available cough into your elbow and then wash your hands/exposed areas)
- Put on a face mask upon entry into Innova if you have fever or are coughing.
- Do not take extra face masks from our office! These supplies are limited and we need to ensure we have adequate supplies for other guests.
- Be wise about where you get your information from – please check the resources posted on our website for your information.
- Limit travel per the CDC recommendations. Check this page for further information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
- Reduce visitors with you to your appointments when possible.