As Medical Director at Beaumont-Farmington Hills Emergency Trauma Center, Dr. Sanford Vieder sees the impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis.
But Vieder is also among those helping to ease the burden on hospital emergency rooms, as Medical Director of Lakes Urgent Care. The clinic’s locations in West Bloomfield and Livonia remain open, having established “clean office” protocols so that patients without COVID-19 can be seen for other medical needs.
”When we started to run out of PPE (personal protection equipment), particularly for patients, we were faced with a difficult decision,” Vieder said. “We knew that closing wouldn’t help the community.”
Based on percentages, doctors knew there would be many people without the virus who had acute care needs and would not want to go to an emergency room filled with COVID-19 patients.
Limited supply chains
”We had enough PPE to protect staff, so we converted both of our offices to a ‘clean site’,” Vieder said.
That means strictly screening patients at the door and sending patients with any sign of COVID-19 away with some general advice. “If, God forbid, they’re having breathing difficulties, the appropriate place for them would be at an emergency department.”
Vieder said doctors at Lakes Urgent Care can do x-rays, intravenous fluids and antibiotics, and lab work. They’re seeing a number of patients with arm and leg injuries, lacerations, eye issues, abdominal or pelvic pain without vomiting or diarrhea (both may occur with COVID-19).
The problem, Vieder stressed, is the lack of PPE, with most supplies being diverted to hospitals, which he says is appropriate.
”Because the supply chains are so limited, hospitals should get the first line equipment first,” he said.
In Farmington, Anchor Health & Wellness on Grand River remains open with the same goal: to keep patients out of hospital emergency rooms. Dr. Michele Foxworthy said as a recognized essential care provider, she is mostly seeing patients with acute issues.
“A woman walked in the door in her nightgown, crying, and I took care of her,” Foxworthy said. “It’s just very gratifying to jump in and help people.”
With Michigan’s “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” Executive Order, many who were previously active now find themselves at home and “thrown into non-movement.”
“I anticipate in a few weeks, it’s going to get crazy,” Foxworthy said. “Kids are sitting and playing video games, and they’re not moving. I’m fearful that people are going to crash, physically.”
Improve overall health
Along with direct care, Foxworthy has posted helpful tips on Facebook – like setting your laptop on the top of a trash can to create a standing desk or “just getting outside in nature.” She also stresses the importance of overall health, good nutrition, and adequate sleep.
Keeping the office safe means wiping down surfaces throughout the day and screening patients, sometimes checking them in their cars, before they enter the building. Patients are also separated in the waiting room.
By staying open, Foxworthy said, Anchor Health & Wellness Center has also taken some of the strain off health care systems overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
“The two most common reasons people go to the emergency room is neck pain and back pain,” Foxworthy said. “It’s validating for me as a chiropractor that people come in and let me help them, and we can also help by relieving emergency rooms and hospitals.”
To learn more about Lakes Urgent Care, visit lakesurgentcare.com.
To learn more about Anchor Health & Wellness Center, visit anchorchirocare.com.