What to expect at your next visit
(Lee este mensaje en español: “Anuncio para nuestros pacientes sobre el COVID-19 (coronavirus): Qué esperar en su próxima visita”)
We care about you and your health. As you know, New York State is working hard to limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Here at the Institute, we are working hard to make sure we are prepared to care for anyone in need, while protecting everyone’s health.
In order to keep our patients, staff and community safe, we are asking all patients to follow these instructions:
- Call first or use MyChart: Please call us before you visit the health center. If you have flu-like symptoms, it is especially important that you call us or use MyChart before you come in, so we can prepare for your visit.
- Tell us about any flu symptoms: When you call us or make your appointment, we will ask you if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath. We will also ask you questions about your travel history and if you have been in contact with anyone known to have COVID-19. We will ask you these questions again when you arrive at the health center, either at the front door or entrance, or once you are inside. Please answer these questions as accurately as possible so we can keep you and your community safe.
- If you can, come by yourself: If at all possible, please come to the health center by yourself. If you need to bring a caregiver, child or other person with you, we will ask everyone to sign in when they arrive at the health center. We will also ask them about any symptoms, travel or contact with people known to have COVID-19. At some point, we may limit who can come with you to your visits. This will help us limit the spread of any illnesses.
- Wear a mask covering your nose and mouth while inside the health center. The mask must be kept in place unless your provider asks you to remove it for treatment. If you do not have a mask, our staff at the health center will provide you with one. Patients are also not allowed to take the mask off to eat, drink or talk on the phone while they are in the health center.
- Wash your hands: After you check in at the health center, please take a moment to wash your hands in the restroom. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds. Dry them completely with a paper towel or hand dryer. (You should wash your hands often at home and work, too.) Try to limit the number of surfaces you touch. Don’t touch your face with your hands. Instead, use a tissue and then throw the tissue away.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes: Cough and sneeze only into a tissue or your elbow, not your hands. Even if you have a chronic cough or allergies, you should always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. If you used a tissue, throw it away immediately. If you are coughing in the health center, we may ask you to wear a face mask. (Please note: people who are not coughing or sneezing do not need to wear face masks.)
- Be considerate of our staff: To keep everyone safe, our staff are doing some things differently – please follow all of their instructions. You may see our staff wearing face masks or other protective clothing. You may also see that they are cleaning surfaces more often or limiting the items they touch. This is for their protection, since they see many people each day. Our staff do not come to work if they are sick, so don’t worry if you see our staff wearing face masks.
- Be ready for a “phone visit”: Before you come in to the health center, we may have a care team member call you to get more information. If you are in the health center and we are concerned about your symptoms, we may ask you to go into a private room and speak to our staff by phone.
- Stay informed using MyChart: We send regular updates through MyChart. Please check your MyChart messages often for new information. If you don’t have MyChart, visit mychart.institute.org to create an account. You can access your account securely from any computer or your smartphone.
Remember that it’s important to get the care you need, especially if you have a chronic condition. Please don’t skip your appointment or let your medication run out because you are afraid to come in. Call us or use MyChart so we can help you get the care you need.
We will continue to update you as things change.
The Institute for Family Health