Changes in care: Western Sierra Medical Clinic assessing patient at the door |

Changes in care: Western Sierra Medical Clinic assessing patient at the door

Submitted to The Union

From a release:

Western Sierra Medical Clinic is continuing to serve all the communities in the region and has been fighting to slow and ultimately stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinic said in a press release.

Western Sierra’s efforts include assessing patients before entering its health clinics, conducting coronavirus tests when necessary, and determining the next steps for those with symptoms, the release said.

“In these challenging times, it is important to be agile and flexible,” said Chief Executive Officer of Western Sierra Medical Clinic Scott McFarland in the release. “As the situation unfolds, we are adapting our care to maximize the benefit to the communities we serve.”

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Western Sierra executives are in frequent communication with public health and local hospital officials, and other medical providers to determine the best way to provide services to all the communities in the region, according to the release.

Western Sierra is also playing a role in preventing the spread of the virus, according to the release. Western Sierra, the largest outpatient provider in Nevada and Sierra counties, has been assessing patients for COVID-19 before entering the health centers and testing individuals according to the established criteria. Screening patients at the door greatly reduces the health risk to other patients and the medical staff, the release states.

The clinic is also expanding its telehealth efforts – where patients can connect with providers utilizing tele-medicine technology, according to the release. This expansion will help to eliminate the need for patients to do in-person appointments and continue to “shelter in place” which reduces exposure risks for all, the release stated.   

“We want to provide as much access as possible to patients,” said Chief Medical Officer of Western Sierra Dr. Christina Lasich in the release. “But we’re also minimizing exposure and utilizing staff to provide as much remote patient care as possible. We’re having to make some very hard choices during this difficult time.”

In order to best meet the needs of the community and residents, Western Sierra has temporarily consolidated some of its operations to Auburn-Professional Drive and Grass Valley locations, the release said. Dental services will remain open to emergencies and phone consultations only due to exposure risks to the patients and staff, the release said.

Other services – including urgent care, behavioral health, primary care and the on-site pharmacy – are available to patients either in-person or by phone, according to the release. Because of these shifts in services, Western Sierra will also temporarily reduce its workforce, the release said.

“We know this a very stressful time for a lot of people,” McFarland said in the release. “But these changes are necessary to help minimize the spread of the disease and maintain the health of the community and the organization.”

Source: Western Sierra Medical Clinic

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