Should I Keep My Appointment?
Maintaining your health is our priority. If you have a previously scheduled annual appointment we have three options:
- You may reschedule your appointment for a later date.
- You can convert to a problem focused Telemedicine Video Visit if you need to discuss concerns, chronic medical issues, or medications with your provider.
- You can come in to the office, understanding that we have a new process to minimize COVID-19 risk to patients and staff.
Please wear a face mask when you come to Valley Medical
Per Alaska Health recommendations we recommend that all Alaskans wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
Appointments are Available
In an effort to maintain safe distancing and to minimize exposures for our patients and staff, we are offering Telemedicine Video Visits when appropriate.
- Chronic Medical Conditions: We can address some chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, anxiety or depression over Telemedicine Video Visits. In fact, keeping up on any chronic medical conditions is important to ensure you are as healthy as you can be.
- Medicare Wellness: Medical wellness visits are also available through Telemedicine.
- Prenatal/OB Appointments: We are asking all newly pregnant patients to schedule an initial video intake appointment with our midwife/physicians. We will help explain the current recommended schedule of prenatal visits for OB patients in light of COVID-19. Ultrasounds and lab work will be bundled into necessary office visits when due. Certain prenatal appointments can be done via video and our team is already working to convert those when appropriate. We are following the guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine.
There are some appointments that must be seen in the office, such as vaccinations and well child checks or pre-chemotherapy evaluations. Parents, please call us to discuss your child’s well child checks. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccinating children to protect them from other infectious disease and prioritizing newborn/infant care are primary mandates even during COVID-19.
If you are coming in for an in-office appointment, here is what you should expect:
- In order to maintain everyone’s safety, we have separated our entrances. We are meeting our pregnant patients, pediatric patients, pre-chemo patients, and anyone considered immunocompromised or high risk for COVID-19 at separate entrances and ask that you call us upon your arrival to the clinic.
- Everyone who enters our building will be screened at the door with a temperature and certain questions to determine their COVID-19 risk status.
- If you have a fever, new onset cough, shortness of breath, any exposure to a known positive COVID-19 case, or you just feel unwell, we ask that you not come to the office but instead call us to determine appropriate next steps.
- For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that no visitors accompany patients for their visits unless necessary for physical support or communication needs. Partners of our OB patients, we also ask that you not come to visits until this high risk of COVID-19 transmission is past us. Parents, we ask that you not bring your children to your own visits. This is a very difficult thing for us to ask—we take our commitment to family support very seriously as family practice providers. It is, however, for your family’s safety that we ask this. We are happy to find ways to include partners/families in your care whenever possible. For our pregnant patients, we encourage you to sign up for Bartlett Beginning’s Childbirth and Pregnancy classes which are being held on-line.
- For anyone with respiratory symptoms concerning for COVID-19 who warrants testing or needs a physical exam, we are seeing these patients outside of our office. We are asking these patients to drive to the outdoor car shelter in our back parking lot. All other patients should park in our front (closer to the road) parking lot.
If needed, we are still able to do your labs. The lab will be drawing patients in private exam rooms whenever possible.
If you need to be tested for a respiratory illness, we are triaging people outside and are following CDC and Alaska Public Health guidelines for who should be tested for COVID-19.
COVID-19 tests are triaged to Alaska State Laboratories or private labs according to state guidelines. The turn-around time for results is variable and currently between 3-12 days. Lab Corp (our private lab) and the state department are doing their best to get results as soon as possible.
Pending results, please make sure you maintain social isolation and your provider’s advice.
Preparing for a Telemedicine Video Visit
- We are using Doximity for Telehealth visits. You will receive a text message to join your appointment. Clicking here will take you to an overview of this process.
- We will try to call as close to the scheduled time as possible so please be in a safe and private location with good reception, good lighting and no distractions. Please have a flashlight available if you have a symptom your provider will need to assess over video (such as a rash or sore throat).
- This is like going to your doctor’s office so please refrain from public spaces for your visit. If you are in a public space such as the grocery store, we will have to reschedule your appointment.
- Please have your home blood pressures and blood sugar readings available for your provider to review. Do you use our Portal? If so, please send these home readings to your provider in advance of your appointment so you can discuss them together during your visit. Not a portal user but you’d like to try this now? Call our office to sign up.
- Please have your medications easily available in case you need more refills and so we can verify dosages.
- Make sure your device is plugged in and has a strong signal. Consider WiFi if your cellular data is limited.
- Using a headphone with a built in microphone makes it easier for you and your provider to hear each other.
- Please mute notifications on your phone.
This is a billable service and your insurance will be billed.
Please visit our COVID-19 FAQs for more information.