By Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Health Systems have transitioned to home visits through Communitrend for less traffic flow in the facilities.
Communitrend is the company that will be providing services to the patients at home. Since the pandemic MCN health systems had switched to telehealth. The patients who go through telehealth and are not being physically seen but their doctors still need those lab results, that is where communitrend comes in.
“Instead of having patients get out in the public and have them come to our facilities, we are sending out an individual to the homes of the citizens to do lab work,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Billy Beets said. “The lab or blood work is brought back to the clinic, and we run the lab work then the results go to the doctor. So when the patient has their appointment the doctor already has their results.”
When the patient checks in for telehealth, the physician can speak with them about their lab results and medication change. According to Dr. Beets, they are also using communitrend to see if there is a household to check on elders who might be living in a home without heat and air.
“We could step out and contact Family services staff to assist those in need, and contact Communty Services to make sure there is food in the house from Food Distribution,” Dr. Beets stated. “We’re not going in for labs only, we’re also doing home visits to make sure if there is anything our citizens need during this time of COVID-19.”
The communitrend initially started at Eufaula Clinic for a couple of weeks to do a pilot program to see how things work. Now the home visits has expanded to the Koweta Clinic and Sapulpa Clinic, then transition to Okemah Clinic and Okmulgee Clinic.
The visits will continue through COVID-19 pandemic, but Dr. Beets believes about 25 percent of patient visits will be telehealth after the pandemic is over. The telehealth process will continue but most likely for the elders.
“We don’t want them to get out or anything because they have difficulty getting transportation, and we have limited numbers of CHR’s,” Dr. Beets said about telehealth for elders.
The home visits has been easier on patients, according to Dr. Beets. They don’t have to get out and be possibly exposed to COVID-19. Patients are more complianced, and it is easier on the physician because the patients will not be waiting around on lab results.
“I’m excited about this, and I think it’s going to be very successful,” Dr. Beets said. “I’m anticipating that a lot of tribes will also be doing this and I think it will work out well.”
For more information and questions, contact your local health administrator.