The proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” has been on full display in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 health emergency. Rooks County Health Center (RCH) implemented a number of initiatives that will remain in place while Kansas begins to ease restrictions on social distancing. One notable benefit for patients, the absence of waiting rooms.
For scheduled appointments at RCH, patients call their physician’s office from their car upon arriving at the hospital campus. They remain in their vehicle until called in to go straight to their examination room. As they come into the facility their temperature is checked, a mask provided and a staff member guides them to their room. Patients are enjoying the freedom of listening to the radio station of their choice, watching videos on their phone or simply making some calls from the private sanctuary of their vehicle before being ushered in for their appointment.
Other benefits include telemedicine. RCH patients and staff have become more accustomed to discussing symptoms and options over the phone. Removing the burden of scheduling and travel logistics for an initial appointment, telemedicine favors patients who might otherwise have waited too long before seeking medical advice or attention.
Counseling services, like RCH’s Insurance Counseling, place convenience on the patient’s side to meet from any location during regular office hours. With the rise in unemployment due to the Coronavirus, RCH’s insurance counselor can help families find the health insurance they need until things can return to normal.
While discussing the new conveniences, the necessity driving these innovations was stopping the spread of COVID-19. RCH’s robust quality assurance programs continue to lead the way for rural critical access hospitals to address the complex issues of their community’s healthcare.
“We strive to exceed the expectations of every patient we treat,” stated Eric Sumearll, RCH’s Communication and Development Director. “We constantly analyze how we can prevent complications, improve patient safety and deliver timely care and education. It is our staff-driven culture of care, compassion and excellence that has led RCH to be recognized nationally but appreciated locally.”