Hastings Family Medical Center makes changes to keep patients safe during pandemic

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Getting in for a regular check up is looking a little different at one Hastings clinic as they try to make things safer during the pandemic. Many people see a doctor regularly for chronic issues like diabetes, heart issues, and a number of other things.

Things are a little different at the Hastings Family Medical Center in order to make sure patients are safe from COVID-19 (KSNB)

With the risk of COVID-19, the Hastings Family Medical Center is doing what they can to protect patients. In the mornings, people with chronic or mild ailments are treated. Then the office is cleaned. In the afternoon, those with respiratory problems can come in for treatment.

“We are now going towards incorporating telehealth visits where we can talk through the telephone or your computer through secured apps that we weren't previously able to do as of a couple weeks ago,” Dr. Mackenzie Hemje said.

He also said insurance companies should cover them like a normal appointment. While there is a national shortage, the office has the gear they need.

“At our office we have adequate personal protective equipment from face shields, to face masks, to gowns, and also gloves to safely take care of our patients at this time. We are using those per guidelines,” Dr. Hemje said.

If or when community spread is an issue in Hastings, they will begin screening people before they enter the building. But for now they want to maintain some normalcy.

“It will be here eventually and we're just hoping that we are truly flattening the curve and we are practicing social distancing,” Dr. Hemje said. “Really what it comes down to is making sure we are doing these public health policies so we can protect the places that most need it and that will be our hospitals.”

If someone would like to schedule a telehealth appointment when they are up and running next week, they can call and book one like a normal appointment and they can help them get it set up.