North Atlanta Primary Care

COVID-19 Update Article

Coronavirus Update #6

Posted on March 27, 2020 by Physicians and Staff at NAPC

NAPC continues to provide healthcare to our patients every day. We remain open at all 12 locations despite the reality that COVID-19 cases have increased by over 460% this week in Georgia. NAPC is on the front lines and we want to communicate with you, educate you, and protect you. We are learning best practices to manage our patients who have COVID-19 symptoms as well as provide care to our patients using Telehealth.

Question:  What is the reality of the Coronavirus pandemic?

The SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread and now the US has the most cases in the world. Georgia is a hot spot with cases doubling every 2-3 days. Our hospitals are working hard and are prepared. Our physicians and staff in the ER and ICU are well trained and equipped. We live in one of the best cities in the world for high quality, highly complex healthcare. It may be weeks before nCoV-2 spread will peak and cases will begin to decrease. We do know the vast majority of positive COVID-19 individuals will NOT require hospital or ICU care. With increased testing we are discovering many individuals are asymptomatic or only have minimal symptoms. Our best advice, STAY HOME and continue to self –isolate and social distance.

Question: How can I obtain medical advice or make an appointment with my doctor?

Very easy. Just call our office and request a virtual appointment. This week we have ramped up Telehealth at all of our offices. Our nurses, our doctors, and our physician assistants are all working to provide care, perform risk assessments, respond to questions and concerns, provide refills and treat both acute and chronic illness using just your smart phone. We will ask you to use FACETIME or SKYPE to use real time audio video information to connect with you. Some of our providers are using ZOOM and DOXY.ME to connect to patients in a virtual environment. Next week on your FollowMyHealth Portal you will be able to request an appointment and connect to a live NAPC physician or PA.

Question: I am a high risk patient with pre-existing conditions, can you help me?

This week we are reaching out to all of our elderly seniors and patients with medical conditions that place them at higher risk. We are performing a Health Risk Assessment of our patients and will coordinate any home care needs an individual may need. We are also working with our patients to update any Advanced Directives and Living Wills. If you have elderly parents that need our help please reach out to us and we will schedule a Telehealth visit. If required we will make arrangements to see all of our patients face-to-face in our offices to provide care.

Patients with pre-existing conditions can improve their care with a few simple additions to their daily routine.

    • Stay compliant on all medications used for chronic conditions.
    • High Blood Pressure: Obtain an electronic home blood pressure cuff and monitor your BP daily.
    • Diabetes: Obtain a home glucometer and check your blood sugar daily. Record these results and share with your caregiver weekly. If you do not have a monitor or need supplies call our office and we will arrange a Telehealth consult to assist in ordering equipment.
    • Heart Failure: Obtain a scale to monitor your weight every morning and evening. Record the results and share those numbers weekly with your doctor. If you have a sudden 5-10# increase notify us immediately.
    • Asthma: Obtain a peak flow meter and measure your lung functions daily. If you develop wheezing or shortness of breath please notify your physician and we will arrange for a virtual Telehealth visit and if necessary an in office exam.
    • Cardiac Arrthymia or Atrial Fibrillation: Monitoring your heart rate and rhythm is possible through a variety of smart phone apps. KardiaMobile is a FDA cleared home EKG device that you can download at the app store.
    • Pregnancy: Many of our patients that are currently child bearing should stay in close contact with their OB/GYN. Medical studies have indicated that nCoV-2 does not affect the baby. We are here to answer your questions and will make sure to contact your OB if needed.
    • Blood Thinners: For patients on Coumadin you must continue to monitor your Protime regularly. Please contact us and we will make arrangements to have your labs checked monthly.

This is only a partial list of medical options intended to keep you healthy and out of the hospital. This period of isolation and social distancing will end and we will continue to serve YOUR healthcare needs. Please be safe and stay at home as much as possible. Any healthcare concerns you have can be addressed and most treated through virtual visits.

Question: Is testing widely available yet?

We are performing in office COVID-19 testing that is processed by Quest labs. There are still limits to how many we can perform. We are continuing to perform testing on High Risk Individuals: First responders, and healthcare workers, nursing home staff and patients, and finally patients with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Question: Can I be tested for past infection with COVID-19?

Yes. The FDA has approved an IgG/IgM antibody test that can infer immunity due to recent COVID exposure. We do NOT currently have access to this test. More information soon.

Question: Can I obtain medications to help prevent COVID-19 illness?

No.There is a lot of information in the media on use of medications to help treat COVID-19. There are FDA trials occurring on over 20 agents that may inhibit viral replication. This gives all of us hope for interventions that will save lives before a vaccine is available.  However, we cannot recommend or prescribe any of these treatments at this time. There are significant side effects and even deaths due to inappropriate use of these medications.

Final Thoughts:

COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout our state and local communities. We understand much more about this virus then we did just a few short weeks ago. We have obtained PPE and appreciate the help of many who contributed. NAPC staff and physicians will remain vigilant and informed. We will be available to address all of your medical needs 7 days a week. Use of Telehealth virtual visits will allow us to take better care of you now and after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Please stay safe, stay home, and thank you for your trust in providing healthcare to you.

The 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