North Atlanta Primary Care

COVID-19 Update Article

Coronavirus Update #5

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Physicians and Staff at NAPC

NAPC will continue to communicate with you the best ways to stay healthy while receiving quality healthcare. We will review what a “Virtual Medical” visit is. Our goal is to keep you out of the Emergency room and hospital.  Basic information from our 2nd Coronavirus Update:

Mild symptoms: Cough and seasonal allergies are common this time of year. Treat with OTC medications. If you have questions use the NAPC Patient Portal to contact us with your questions. We will gladly message you back and can set up a Telehealth visit for you.

Moderate Symptoms: If you are having fatigue, fever, cough and body aches or you may have been exposed to Coronavirus contact us by phone or NAPC Patient Portal so we can discuss options with you. If you are high risk, age>60, diabetic, heart or kidney disease or immunocompromised we will make arrangements to see you in our offices and may test you for SARS-nCo-2.

Severe Symptoms: If you are experiencing shortness of breath, severe weakness, low blood pressure we will coordinate the next step with you if you can call. You may require hospital care and we will coordinate care with our local Emergency Rooms. Showing up at the ER unannounced is not advisable. If you are in extreme distress call 911 and explain the situation and symptoms.

Other information: There are increasing reports of asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus. You should not continue socializing in groups with friends and even family. You should not be at the stores shopping. Ideally food and household items should be delivered to your home. Reports of mild symptoms such as loss of taste and smell are very nonspecific and can be due to many etiologies including allergies and sinus infections. Reports of the early use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin is promising but we will not treat patients prophylactically based on current guidelines. Routine testing for COVID-19 is not available but we will test all high risk patients, first responders and healthcare personnel that are experiencing symptoms.

Refills: We will continue to refill all chronic medications and we will continue to consult and communicate with all of our patients. PLEASE go to the NAPC patient portal and communicate your medical questions, refill requests, lab questions and any other needs directly to us. We are here to meet your needs. Calling our emergency after hour’s line limits our ability to treat our patients’ true emergencies. We will provide Telehealth services and virtual visits to all patients.

Medical Office Visits: We will continue to see our patients safely for essential medical care. This includes follow up for chronic illnesses that may not be well controlled, acute symptoms for heart or vascular disease, acute serious infections, kidney stones, fractures and trauma, and anything serious conditions that you are experiencing. Please try and refrain from using the ER. We are coordinating specialty care with our colleagues.

Question: What is a VIRTUAL medical visit?

During this national crisis for our community we must look at innovative ways to use technology to respond to the medical needs of our patients. Patients with chronic diseases must be maintained on their medical regimens to lower their risks of complications from Coronavirus. Patients with acute medical illnesses must be able to consult with a physician in order to receive care and avoid the ER. The physicians and staff at NAPC at all 12 locations will meet your healthcare needs and using telehealth for VIRTUAL visits will allow us to continue to keep YOU healthy.

Virtual medical visits and Telehealth may include:

Use of synchronous audio video communication technology to evaluate and treat your medical needs. This includes use of our new Follow My Health new Telehealth communication portal. This will be active very soon and we will share information with you very soon on how to schedule an appointment.

Use of other communications technologies including telephones, smart phones, fax machines, emails, and text messaging.

Use of FACE TIME and Skype for synchronous audio video communication.

Use of direct messaging through secure patient portals like NAPC’s Follow My Health.

Observation through telehealth tools: Use of medical devices at home that monitor blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, heart rate, oxygen level and even EKG can transmit this data to our patient portal.

Mobile Health: Use of smartphone apps designed to foster health and well-being can be programmed to send messages to you and to NAPC so we can monitor specific care recommendations.

Question: What is NAPC doing now to assist me with a Virtual Visit?

If you are on our daily schedule there is no need to cancel. We will contact you directly and open up a Virtual visit for you. We will provide any necessary medical care, answer questions, and provide electronic refills. If you require medical testing we will set up diagnostic, radiologic and lab tests for you. We will also arrange an in office consultation if necessary immediately.

If you call due to urgent care need we will connect you to a physician, nurse or physician assistant to address your immediate needs. We may set up time with your PCP for a telehealth visit for follow up if needed.

If you contact us via the NAPC Follow My Health Patient Portal we will respond to you electronically and/or by telephone. We will offer to Skype or FaceTime with you as well.

If you text or email us we will respond back and arrange for a Telehealth communication visit.

If you are a Medicare patient with chronic medical problems we will have our staff contact you to make sure you are safe and have an appropriate care plan. We will also complete your annual Medicare Wellness evaluation at your convenience to make sure all your medical needs are met.

Question: What is essential medical care?

NAPC will continue to provide in office personal medical care to all of our patients. At this time of “Physical Distancing” we will offer Virtual Medical visits to all. However, we recognize the urgent needs of many of our patients will require in person office visits for making appropriate diagnosis and arrange for care. This may include symptoms of: Chest pain, abdominal pain, fractures or trauma, severe stress and dysfunction, suicide ideation, bleeding, kidney stones, extreme pain, etc.

We must keep you safe and out of the ER and Hospitals. Our offices are clean and sanitized. Our staff will wear PPE during all encounters and all patients with fever and URI symptoms will be isolated and treated in a separate area. Our physicians and staff are here to continue to provide care for you and your family.

Thank you for putting your trust to meet your healthcare needs into our hands. We do all we can to keep you healthy and to keep our staff safe as well.

Physicians and Staff at NAPC

Alpharetta: 3400-C Old Milton Parkway, Suite 270, Alpharetta, GA 30005
Braselton: 1255 Friendship Road, Suite 130, Braselton, GA 30517
Cumming: 1800 Northside Forsyth Drive, Suite 450, Cumming, GA 30041
East Cobb: 1121 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 450, Marietta, GA 30068
Johns Creek: 4235 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite A, Suwanee, GA 30024
Sandy Springs: 1150 Hammond Dr., Building E, Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30328
Sugar Hill: 4700 Nelson Brogdon Blvd., Suite 250, Buford, GA 30518
West Paces: 3200 Downwood Circle NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30327
Woodstock: 250 Parkbrooke Place, Suite 300, Woodstock, GA 30189

All locations: 770-442-1911