Seek Care When You Need It
EnloeAnywhere Offers New Option
Residents across the country are adhering to stay-at-home orders, helping stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). But they may be foregoing needed medical care as a result. Hospitals across the U.S. have seen a drop in Emergency department visits and 911 calls. The same is true here in the North State.
“Medical communities are noticing that people are staying at home, which we applaud, but sometimes people are staying home with severe problems, things like chest pain or severe abdominal pain, as well as other issues,” said Steven Zlotowski, M.D., an Emergency department physician at Enloe Medical Center.
He and other caregivers throughout the state are encouraging people to seek care when they need it. To help, Enloe Medical Center sped up the debut of its new telehealth service, formerly called Enloe’s Virtual Emergency Department.
“Medical communities are noticing that people are staying at home, which we applaud, but sometimes people are staying home with severe problems,” said Steven Zlotowski, M.D., an Emergency department physician at Enloe Medical Center.
Now it’s expanding the service under the umbrella EnloeAnywhere. Through this new telemed service, you can call in to get medical guidance from a nurse and get connected to a doctor if needed. Think of it as a Prompt Care visit done through your phone.
Officials hope the service will keep folks from waiting too long to seek care. The American College of Cardiology reports the rates of strokes and heart attacks are not declining during these times despite the drop in emergency calls and visits. And folks are still getting sick, suffering injuries and needing medical care, like they did before COVID-19.
Caregivers Ready to Help
Dr. Zlotowski understands that some people may be avoiding health care facilities for fear of being exposed to the virus, but he reminds us that facilities are taking precautions. At Enloe, anyone who visits the hospital is screened before entry and the medical center has separate triage and waiting areas for emergency patients with respiratory symptoms. Enloe’s Emergency department also has separate units to care for patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
“Anyone who isn’t feeling well or has suffered an injury should seek care right away,” added Judy Cline, RN, director of Enloe’s Emergency department, Prompt Care and Trauma Services. “We don’t want people to suffer. It’s absolutely important that people continue to receive the care they need.”
“Anyone who isn’t feeling well or has suffered an injury should seek care right away,” said Judy Cline, RN, director of Enloe’s Emergency department, Prompt Care and Trauma Services.
This is especially important if you have life-threatening symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Extreme shortness of breath
- Serious head injuries or burns
- Sudden numbness or loss of coordination
- And uncontrolled bleeding
In those cases, it’s vital you call 911 right away, she said.
New Service Stands Out
Chico resident Katy Thoma recently used Enloe’s new telehealth service after she fell outside her house. She had a “nasty” hematoma and severe swelling on her shin. After five days, the painful injury looked infected, so she called the virtual service.
Using the Zoom app on her laptop, she spoke with a nurse, then a doctor. “I took my laptop outside and put it on the ground where there was good light, so the doctor could see my injury,” she said. “He did an exam and even asked me to press on the injury so he could see the swelling and he asked to see both of my legs together, so he could compare them.”
He concluded her leg was infected and called in a prescription for antibiotics. The whole thing took about 30 minutes, she said.
“It was fantastic,” Thoma said. “The process was super easy, and the Enloe team was great.” She recommends EnloeAnywhere to others.
To access EnloeAnywhere, call (530) 332-9540 and choose option 2. Nurses staff the line seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and return any messages left outside of those hours.