Pearland - Friendswood Edition | June 2020

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At the start of the coronavirus, patients across Kelsey-Seybold’s network, including its Pearland location, transitioned to primarily virtual visits. Even as the facilities are beginning to see patients in person, there is still a push for virtual visits. A RISE INVIRTUAL VISITS

Prior to COVID-19, only 2% OF VISITSWERE VIRTUAL.

Now, 90% OF VISITS ARE VIRTUAL.

of Kelsey-Seybold patients are seeing their doctors through video calls each day. 5,500 - 6,000

at the beginning of COVID-19. 50% Kelsey-Seybold in-person visits fell by

SOURCE: KELSEY - SEYBOLD / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HOUSTON - AREA INDUSTRY EFFECTS The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks economic growth and changes for various regions of the country. It shows the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land region, including Pearland, saw job losses in all sectors in April compared to 2019. The education and health services industries are grouped together and saw an 8.8% decline in jobs in April 2020 compared to April 2019. See how other industries fared below.

CONTINUED FROM 1 “People shouldn’t be afraid to come to the hospital for help,” Vartian said. Cotton said she believes the coro- navirus is going to change everything in terms of how the health care land- scape operates. “I don’t know of another time in modern history where the general population has been forced to stay home and really engage in a digital world, and I don’t think that’s going to be much di ff erent in medicine,” Cot- ton said. Seekingmedical help Vartian, who is also an infectious disease doctor, said the number of people seeking treatment for non- coronavirus complaints went down

di ffi cult in the long run,” Cotton said. For medical events such as appen- dicitis, heart attacks, strokes and chronic illnesses that have been exac- erbated, Cotton said the decrease in number was concerning. According to data from the Hous- ton Health Department, emergency calls for suspected heart attacks were down 50% from February to April. The situation has been slightly dif- ferent for general practitioners and other nonemergencymedical entities. Kelsey-Seybold clinics, which serve around 400,000 patients a year, have not experienced a signi fi cant decrease in volume. Cherice Conly-Harvey is the man- aging physician for the Pearland Kelsey-Seybold clinic. She said the

of visits were virtual. Now, 90% of Kelsey-Seybold patients are seeing their doctor through video calls, 5,500-6,000 of which are happening daily. “I was really proud of our senior patients, who I know are sometimes intimidated by technology,” Con- ly-Harvey said. “They really stepped up and got on those video visits, and we were able to handle people’s blood pressure or diabetes diagnoses through these calls.” The Kelsey-Seybold clinics resumed full normal operations May 18 after limiting face-to-face visits to only those absolutely necessary since March. “We’re beginning to perform an increased number of elective pro- cedures,” Janis said. “There is an ongoing process to not only increase visits, but to increase the availability of in-person visits.” Preventivemeasures Janis said Kelsey-Seybold approached the pandemic from three directions: keeping sta ff safe, keeping patients safe and maintaining a safe environment. Maintaining a safe medical environ- ment for patients and sta ff has been a priority across the county, and it has demanded facilities make changes to their work fl ow to accommodate new safety guidelines, Cotton said. Kelsey-Seybold started screening employees and patients before com- ing into the clinic, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and purchasing personal protective equipment. In March, hospitals stopped per- forming elective surgeries, or pro- cedures that can be scheduled in advance, and went through the pro- cess of minimizing the possibility of

Education and health services

March 2020: 417,400 jobs

April 2020: 367,200 jobs

noticeably during the fi rst several weeks of the pandemic. “We’ve seen a decline of women having mammo- grams, people getting cancer screenings, etcet- era, and we need to reverse that because these people still need to be treated,” Vartian said. Cotton said medical profes- sionals across the board are seeing

MyKelseyOnline service’s virtual visit option made the transition to not having in-person visits smoother. “If I had to explain my expe- rience, I would use the word intense,” Con- ly-Harvey said. “It was so sudden and so severe, what happened to us all, but I do feel like we did a good job early on tak- ing care of both

“I DON’T KNOWOF ANOTHER TIME IN MODERNHISTORY WHERE THE GENERAL POPULATIONHAS BEEN FORCED TO STAY HOME ANDREALLY ENGAGE INADIGITAL WORLD, AND I DON’T THINK THAT’S GOING TOBEMUCHDIFFERENT INMEDICINE.”

-8.8% from April 2019

+4.2% from March 2019

Professional and business services March 2020: 512,600 jobs

Leisure and hospitality

March 2020: 331,300 jobs

+0.1% from March 2019

+2.6% from March 2019

LAUREN COTTON, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF NEIGHBORS EMERGENCY CENTERS

April 2020:

214,200 jobs

April 2020:

488,800 jobs

people staying home and not seeking care or waiting longer to get treatment until they reach a crisis point. “Anecdotally, we’ve had patients tell us they thought we had better things to do right now, but not com- ing in right away when there’s a med- ical emergency makes your case more

COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.” According to Kelsey-Seybold COO Kenneth Janis, there was a short period of time during closures when in-person doctor visits fell by 50%. However, this does not mean the vis- its were not happening. Prior to the pandemic, only 2%

-35.4% from April 2019

-2.6% from April 2019

SOURCE: BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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