Virtual Appointments a New COVID-19 Friendly Alternative to In-Person Clinic Visits at LRH and PRHHS
Monday, March 23, 2020
Virtual option keeps patients connected to providers amidst clinic closures & limitations
[Fergus Falls, MN and Elbow Lake, MN] Beginning Monday, March 23rd at Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) and Wednesday, March 25th at Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services (PRHHS), virtual appointments will be available to patients.
“While offering virtual visits was on the horizon already, our teams worked very quickly to implement a solution to meet the immediate needs of our community while safely responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LRH interim CEO, Kent Mattson.
“To protect our patients and our workforce, we have closed our physical clinic locations in Ashby, Battle Lake, Evansville, Hoffman and Herman and converted them to virtual appointment clinic locations only until further notice. All providers for these locations are available to see their patients through virtual appointments,” he said. “We want to emphasize that while clinic buildings might be closed, we are here for all of our patients and meeting their healthcare needs with this easy to use solution,” he added.
In addition to the virtual appointment options, Mattson said clinics in Fergus Falls (Main and Walk-In), Barnesville, Elbow Lake and Morris remain open for in-person visits for urgent needs that require a face-to-face appointment.
For patients who need medical care, virtual appointments will be scheduled the same way as a traditional appointment, by calling the appointment line for the respective clinic. When it is time for the patient’s virtual appointment, they can follow the instructions and check-in found at www.lrhc.org/virtualappointments or www.prairiehealth.org/virtualappointments. Patients will need a computer with a webcam or a smartphone or tablet and a good internet connection.
Patients are encouraged to call the appointment line for any medical need and it can be determined on the call whether a virtual appointment or in-person visit is most appropriate.
As a reminder, patients arriving at any of the clinics for in person appointments will be screened for symptoms prior to being allowed to enter. Patients with an appointment in the Fergus Falls Respiratory Clinic will be asked to present to the clinic entrance where they will be met by the screening nurse. Patients will be instructed to tell screener they have an appointment in the Respiratory Clinic. They will then be escorted directly to the Respiratory Clinic area, which is a partitioned off from the rest of the clinic to minimize exposure to others.
More COVID-19 Resources
- Patients with questions or concerns about an upcoming appointment should call their local clinic. Phone numbers for all LRH and PRHHS locations are available at: https://www.lrhc.org/contact-us/ and https://www.prairiehealth.org/contact-us/.
- Questions about COVID-19 can be addressed by the MN Department of Health Hotline: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.
- Patients who are experiencing symptoms should call their local provider’s office to be screened and receive further instruction about home management strategies, or whether they should seek further testing or treatment.
- Visit lrhc.org/covid19 for the latest local updates. To learn more about social distancing and what you can do to reduce the spread, visit www.lrhc.org/socialdistance.
About Lake Region Healthcare
Lake Region Healthcare is living out its vision to be Minnesota's preeminent regional healthcare partner. With over 85 medical staff and over 900 employees, its team is dedicated to serving its patients and community with integrity, teamwork, compassion and excellence. For more information about Lake Region Healthcare, visit www.lrhc.org.
About Prairie Ridge Hospital & Health Services
Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services is a private, non-profit health care organization providing clinical and hospital services in several small rural communities. Bringing specialty and sub-specialty physicians to patients through a vision to lead collaborative efforts that improve the lives of the people they serve by providing quality healthcare and outstanding customer service. More info at www.prairiehealth.org.
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