Virtual health care visits on the rise during pandemic
Estacada health care clinics are making greater use of technology to treat patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Orchid Health, most visits are being done via telephone and telehealth video, with the only exceptions being patients who are acutely ill.
"We're doing as much as we can over the phone so patients don't have to come in if it's not necessary," said Jennifer Harris, manager of Orchid Health's Wade Creek Clinic at 535 N.W. Sixth Ave.
The changes come amid Gov. Kate Brown's executive order directing Oregonians to stay home "to the maximum extent possible," with the exception of performing essential tasks such as getting groceries or obtaining health care.
Prior to Brown's executive order, Orchid Health was seeing patients who needed to come to the clinic, but were not acutely ill, in the morning and those who were sick in the afternoon.
All patients should call the clinic at 503-630-8550 prior to coming in. Orchid staff will work with those who are ill to determine if they should visit in-person or not. Those who come into the clinic will be given a mask and put in an exam room immediately. Patients who are immunocompromised will meet clinicians at the clinic's side door and go directly into a room.
"We're trying to do as much as we can over the phone (and through telehealth) so they don't have to come in if it's not necessary," Harris said, noting that there had not been a significant increase in patient visits since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, at Still Waters Counseling, Tony Long-Drew is only seeing three patients per day in his office and is connecting with most clients via telehealth video. The office is cleaned after each in-person visit.
"There's a lot of conversations about educating people on the mental health aspects of quarantine," he said.
Long-Drew is offering free-half hour sessions through telehealth or in his office at 442 N.W. Wade St. Sessions are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, April 4, and April 11, and will focus on "how to become self-aware of responses to crisis, one-on-one collaboration and catered self-care strategies and some basic healthcare tools — a general check-in for those that need extra encouragement and empathy," a flyer stated. For more information, call 971-346-1517.
Harris noted that staff members are dedicated to serving their patients during this time.
"We're here and caring for the community," Harris said.
Get in touch
Orchid Health: 503-630-8550
Still Waters Counseling: 971-346-1517
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