We should be watching basketball not press conferences. We should be monitoring brackets not curves. We should be preparing for spring not distancing ourselves. But we are all in a different place in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, and we all have a role to play.
At HMH Bardstown Family Medical Center, we are on the frontlines of patient care working hard to keep our patients, staff and community safe. We have been researching and preparing for our response in the weeks to come. Our physicians are providing strategic care so we can make sure that respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 do not cripple our healthcare system. From week to week, we have specific physicians assigned to see patients with respiratory symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.
This may mean that our patients might see a different doctor if they come in for treatment, but our goal is to ensure that we are adequately staffed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. By rotating physicians each week to care for patients with respiratory symptoms, in the event that our staff get sick, there will be fewer interruptions in essential care. We are also encouraging patients experiencing respiratory symptoms to call before they come to the office so we can give instructions on how to proceed.
While we are implementing new processes and procedures at HMH Bardstown Family Medical Center to best care for our patients, please know that our community has an important role when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and “flattening the curve.” Please practice social distancing and stay home.
The benefit of social distancing is two-fold: 1) we can prevent the spread of the disease, which is critical for vulnerable populations, and 2) we can avoid inundating our healthcare system with too many patients at one time, thus “flattening the curve.” CDC guidelines says to put distance, at least six feet, between yourself and others and avoid gathering in crowds. This is the most responsible thing to do.
While social distancing is a new reality and a disruption, it is important that we all do our part to protect our community and those most vulnerable to this disease. Please join me on the frontlines and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Matthew Stiles, M.D.
HMH Bardstown Family Medical Center