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Auburn Community Hospital innovates care delivery during COVID-19

During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic providers quickly pivoted services and offerings to meet the growing demands of the outbreak. Particularly challenging was finding a way to provide needed services to patients requiring medical care but who were not so critical as to require hospital admission. To solve this, Auburn Community Hospital established the ACH Community First Clinic to care for patients of all ages who require a clinical respiratory assessment but do not meet the criteria for emergency room evaluation.

ACH worked with the Cayuga County Health Department during the COVID-19 crisis to establish the clinic within a vacant nursing home owned by the county. The clinic opened on Wednesday, April 8, and allowed ACH physicians and nurses to care for patients in the community in a remote location, taking the pressure off local physician offices and the emergency room, while protecting the general public from potential COVID-19 exposure.

Patient assessments are based on phone or telemedicine triage. Clinician staff, including physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants, examine the patient and administer any treatment plan necessary. The clinic then communicates the results of the evaluation to the patient’s regular provider. The clinic has the ability to check vital signs, oxygen saturation and perform EKG and x-rays. Additionally, the clinic can administer antipyretic and nebulized beta-agonists, and collect specimens for Influenza A and B and streptococcal pharyngitis.

For more information, contact Matthew Chadderdon, vice president, marketing, at (315) 567-0444 or mchadderdon@auburnhospital.org.