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Bluestone’s response to COVID-19: Updated 4-21-20 (may change frequently)

The world of medicine has changed rapidly since the pandemic began and Bluestone has responded accordingly.  Bluestone is on the front lines fighting to protect the most vulnerable patients in our communities, the older and disabled populations.  We moved quickly to introduce telehealth capabilities for all our primary care teams in an effort to minimize exposure for our patients.  For face-to-face visits, our medical team will determine whether the risk of an individual patient’s acute medical needs outweighs the risk of a potential exposure associated with a face-to-face visit.

What Bluestone is doing?

Testing 

Bluestone is able to test all symptomatic patients for COVID-19.  Bluestone follows the CDC and state department protocols for testing and reporting.  Bluestone has a designated Clean Team and Swab Team that assists with delivering testing supplies and assisting with testing if requested by communities.  These team members have been trained in infection control and take all steps necessary to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

In certain cases when a potential outbreak is suspected Bluestone will work directly with corporate and administrative partners to determine if widespread asymptomatic testing is appropriate for an entire community.  Bluestone has found that in certain instances, asymptomatic individuals may be unknowingly infecting residents and or staff members. 

Telehealth

This biggest change to Bluestone’s practice is the switch to telehealth for regular follow-up visits and urgent care.  Patients not requiring a face-to-face visit will be monitored, evaluated and treated through virtual telehealth visits. In addition, Bluestone is offering Urgent Care Telehealth to new patients.  Patients are not required to enroll in Bluestone’s primary care practice to receive Urgent Care services. 

  • Our Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers are currently available in all our Assisted Living and Group Home communities to provide telehealth visits, arranged by community staff or Bluestone support staff onsite with the patient.
  • For ongoing updates related to Bluestone’s telehealth options, visit BluestoneMD.com/telehealth.
  • QUICK LINK to Telehealth Consent  Consent

Social Distancing & Healthcare Workers

During this time, our providers and staff continue taking steps to keep our patients and ourselves safe. Among those are:

  • Bluestone is limiting the contact of our Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers with other healthcare workers in medical and community settings to minimize potential exposure.
  • No medical personnel with 1) medical symptoms or 2) direct exposure to confirmed COVID-19 cases will enter buildings or have contact with other staff members.
  • Bluestone will strictly monitor our staff’s contacts and health status to assure the lowest possible risk to our patients.
  • Self-quarantining if necessary
  • Restricting travel
  • Introducing as few Bluestone staff to patients as possible
  • Treating using telehealth resources, whenever possible, instead of face-to-face
  • Avoiding the use of unnecessary equipment and procedures
  • When an acute visit is needed we will see patients in their own rooms, instead of in common areas

More information

CDC

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

State Health Departments

Minnesota: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp.html

Wisconsin: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm

Florida: www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/providers/index.html

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