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Great Falls Clinic Preparations for COVID-19

Great Falls Clinic Prepares for COVID-19: Details and Plan Below

This page will be updated regularly. If you have any questions regarding the information provided, please call us at 406-454-2171.

 

VIDEO: Understanding COVID-19 and How to Stay Safe

Effective Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

The Great Falls Clinic will be closed temporarily on Friday’s until further notice. Some departments will remain open during their normal hours including the Hospital, Northwest Clinic, Immediate Care Center and Radiation Oncology/Infusion. Appointments will still be scheduled regularly Monday through Thursday.

Effective Wednesday, March 20, 2020:

The Great Falls Clinic is NO LONGER ALLOWING VISITORS so we can keep everyone as safe as possible and limit the spread of illness.
There are a few exceptions to this temporary policy:

Great Falls Clinic Hospital:

✅Parents/guardians accompanying minors seeking care
✅ End-of-life care situations; each case will be reviewed on a case by case basis with nurse manager and or administration and exceptions can be made.
✅ One essential* caregiver for Ancillary Services (Radiology, Lab)
✅ One essential* caregiver for Infusion, Radiation Oncology Visits
✅ One essential* caregiver for Emergency Room Visits
✅ One essential* caregiver for Inpatient Unit
✅ One essential* caregiver for Surgical Services, Cardiac Cath Lab and Interventional Radiology Procedures (includes Montana Plastic Surgery Center)

Great Falls Clinic (Main and Specialty Building, ICC):

✅ Parents/guardians accompanying minors seeking care
✅ One essential* caregiver for Ancillary Services (Radiology, Lab, Rehab Care)
✅ One essential* caregiver for essential Clinic Visits
✅ One essential* caregiver for essential Immediate Care Center Visits

Northwest Clinic:

✅ Parents/guardians accompanying minors seeking care
✅ One essential* caregiver for essential Walk-In Care Visits

* Essential caregivers include parents/guardians of minor patients, or caregivers assisting the elderly or people with disabilities.

 

PATIENT SAFETY IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY. DURING THIS TIME, WE WILL BE SEPARATING SICK PATIENTS FROM WELL PATIENTS. We want our patients to feel confident that we have patients in the right healthcare setting to promote patient safety across all areas.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS.

  1. A 24/7 COVID-19 Helpline has been implemented. Please call ahead prior to visiting the Great Falls Clinic if you have fever, cough, and shortness of breath or have concerns you might have COVID-19.
  2. For questions related to COVID-19, please contact our helpline number at 406-454-7275. If phone lines are busy, patients are encouraged to leave a brief message with a call back number.
  3. We would like to ensure all departments within the Clinic are safe for normal visits and surgeries by maintaining a specific location for sick visits.

Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

  1. All patients, visitors, vendors, and staff will be screened every day they enter the facility. All points of entry will be monitored and screened patients will be identified with a unique sticker each day to verify they have completed COVID-19 screening requirements at the door.
    • 1 station at Main Campus, 1400 29th Street South
    • 1 station at Hospital, 3010 15th Ave South
    • 3 stations at Specialty Center, 3000 15th Ave South
    • 1 station at Surgery Center, 1509 29th Street South
    • 1 station at Montana Plastic Surgery Center, 1600 9th St South
  1. In order to contain the spread of any unwanted germs, the Northwest Clinic at 1600 Division Road, Great Falls has been identified as the primary location to send patients that fail our screening test. 
  2. If a patient presents with any COVID-type illness, they will be directed to the Northwest Clinic. If the patient presents to the Emergency Room with COVID-type illness, they will still be seen.
  3. Northwest Clinic will only be accessible to evaluate patients with respiratory illness, (fever and/or cough, shortness of breath, sore throat). There will be no other entry allowed into this facility until further notice.
  4. Regularly scheduled patients of the Northwest Clinic will now be seen at the Specialty Center Family Medicine department at 3000 15th Ave South. The providers they are scheduled to see will be moved to the Specialty Center in the interim.
  5. Patients who require, or will likely need, hospital care related to COVID-19 complaints will be directed to our Emergency Department, 3010 15th Ave South.
  6. We understand testing costs may prohibit some patients from being tested, therefore, we are reviewing all costs for testing patients when screening for COVID-19 and adjustments will be made and communicated with providers. We are working to lower these costs to accommodate during the pandemic. Some of those tests include influenza, respiratory viral panel, and COVID-19 testing. Most commercial insurances have communicated that testing for COVID-19 specifically will not have an out of pocket impact on patients. Patients should be encouraged to reach out to their insurance company for specific details regarding these costs.
  7. The Great Falls Clinic does NOT have COVID-19 testing kits and those tests are directed to other laboratories once other tests are negative and COVID-19 is suspected.
  8. Northwest Clinic’s hours will also be extended through the weekend to manage this volume – Updated hours are as follows:
    • Northwest: Monday- Friday, 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
    • Northwest: Saturday- Sunday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
    • Immediate Care Center- Monday- Friday, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
    • Immediate Care Center – Saturday- Sunday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  9. Screening questions include the following:
    • Anyone exhibiting symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath;
    • Who have traveled to the following areas in the last 14 days including China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and Europe, and;
    • Have been in contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 virus and not wearing appropriate protective equipment will.
  1. We are working on a work-from-home policy to increase social distancing options for our staff.
  2. Visitors will be severely restricted in all settings and a policy will be presented with guidelines on the management of visitors.
  3. Students and volunteers have been cancelled to increase social distancing.
  4. We have removed all reading material and coffee percolators from our waiting areas to reduce possible contaminants.
  5. We will work with all patients requesting to reschedule, please call us at 406-454-2171.

Tips for our patients

We encourage all patients to:

  1. Practice social distancing, avoid large social gathering. Instead order take-out or buy a restaurant gift card for future use if you want to support a local business. Many local shops are offering curbside pick-up!
  2. Bring your own reading material to your next doctor’s appointment.
  3. Leave space between yourself and those in the waiting areas or check-in lines.
  4. If you have a face mask at home, feel free to bring it.
  5. If you are worried about attending your appointment, call ahead and ask questions.
  6. Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  7. Instead of a hug or a handshake, give a peace sign or a shoe-to-shoe tap.
  8. Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when you see it.
  9. Take care of yourself and your family.