May 12, 2020

Center for Healthy Living plans transition to in-person appointments via a phased approach

The Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus plans to reopen for in-person medical appointments via a phased approach. As always, the health and wellness of the Purdue community’s faculty, staff and students remains the priority. The center moved care solely to telehealth services on March 20 to allow CHL providers the ability to continue to assist patients while ensuring the health and safety of all involved.

“As stay-at-home orders begin to be rolled back and businesses are slowly reopening, we have been very intentional with our approach to opening back,” said Jen Hodges, executive vice president of operations at CHL. “The phased approach allows us the opportunity to slowly reintegrate the provider-patient face-to-face interaction so that it’s in the best interest of all involved.”

The first phase begins on Monday (May 18) as CHL reopens its doors for healthy-patient visits to those who pass both a pre-appointment health screening via phone and in-person (to prevent any illnesses and fever from being brought into the center). The following services will be available:

  • Annual physicals/well visits.
  • Pharmacy – medication management and/or medication refills.
  • Chronic condition management – diabetes, asthma, etc.
  • Health coaching – including tobacco cessation, weight management, etc.
  • Employee assistance counseling.
  • Dietitian appointments.

To schedule, patients can use the CHL portal or call 765-494-0111. Those scheduling via the portal will receive a follow-up call, which will include a telephonic health screening. Those scheduling via phone will have their screening done as part of scheduling an appointment.

Patients with fevers, symptoms of illnesses and/or at-risk answers to the health screening questions will not be allowed into CHL at this time. Individuals who do not meet the criteria for an in-person appointment should continue to use telehealth services for their health care needs. Testing for the flu, strep and mononucleosis also will not be available at this time.

Safety first   

“While we are eager to return to a somewhat recognizable way of life, there is still much to learn,” said Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “Again, as was done in March, making health care decisions that impact a large number of people amidst a global pandemic is difficult. We appreciate the dedication and attention to detail demonstrated by those at CHL as plans to allow patients back inside the building are being made. They continue to put the safety and well-being of our Purdue employees and CHL staff members in the forefront as they determine needed adjustments to protocols and processes to open the doors back up.”     

Upon return to face-to-face appointments, social distancing practices will remain in effect in conjunction with revised processes related to check-in, arrival and departure for patients and staff. They are as follows:

  • Requirements for CHL personnel and patients
    • CHL providers/coaches/staff will wear masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed.
    • Patients will be required to bring their own mask and wear them during their appointment.
    • Patients under the age of 16 years will not be permitted to come into CHL for appointments or otherwise.
    • Patients should not be in the waiting room unless they have moved from their appointment and need labs or if they are waiting for assistance at the front desk.
  • Patient arrival
    • When patients arrive to the CHL parking lot, they will call the phone number provided during scheduling.
    • A medical assistant (MA) or registered nurse (RN) will come out to the patient’s car when ready and will rescreen the patient with the same Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-guided questions that were asked during scheduling.
    • MA/RN will take the patient’s ear temperature. Ear thermometers are used to reduce potential skews from no-touch thermometers, such as from sitting in the sun or in a warm car.
    • MA/RN will ensure that the patient is wearing their mask or face covering correctly.
    • MA/RN will escort the patient into the building.
  • Patient departure
    • Patients will be escorted from their exam room to the front desk (if applicable) to check out.
    • Patients will be escorted to the door to ensure that social distancing protocols are followed.

As additional safety controls to help maintain a healthy work environment at the center, CHL waiting rooms will not be used as such, and the community water cooler and coffee pot will not be available for patient use.

These safety measures will remain in effect through May 31, at which time CHL leadership will assess phase two and next steps for reopening the center for in-person appointments as they continue to monitor and follow guidelines issued by the CDC, World Health Organization and Purdue’s Safe Campus Task Force.

Guidelines for those age 65 and older and those with known high-risk medical conditions

As part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plan to reopen Indiana safely, the Back on Track Indiana plan – released on May 1 –  includes the following guidelines for individuals age 65 and older and those with known high-risk medical conditions. This population  is the most susceptible to the coronavirus, so it is recommended that these individuals follow the timeline outlined below: 

  • May 4-23 – Stay at home whenever possible. 
  • May 24-June 13 – Limit exposure at work and in their communities.
  • June 14-July 3 – Adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain cautious at work and in their communities.

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