Rensimer & Associates has been focused on COVID-19 since the first notice of it in January. Focused on contagious diseases, we have had to be far ahead of CDC response and guidelines to protect ourselves and our patients, as many of you are aware by our series of COVID-19 Updates on Facebook and our websites (traveldoc.com and rensimer.com).
And, our patients have problems that require ongoing management. There is not one other practice open in our professional building, and we presume this is so across our community; many are offering telemedicine services and are virtually closed indefinitely. That approach maybe adequate for many patients, particularly at the primary care level for non-acute, non-critical medical presentations.
However, there will be circumstances where a patient must be physically evaluated. It is unquestionable that unburdening hospital emergency departments (and the inefficient and lengthy service that we know is the case with hospitals packed) is optimal and necessary wherever possible. Patients’ interests are not well served congregating in the lobbies of urgent care or emergency facilities in a time of social-distancing. We have been masking and hand cleansing all patients and staff for the past month and managing patient traffic to have no one in our waiting room, exposed to others.
I am a specialist in Infectious Diseases, but over my entire career I remained on call for Internal Medicine admissions at every hospital where I was on staff. And, I worked many emergency departments for several years early in my career.
I manage inpatient as well as office-based cases. So, we are open and willing to see patients, whether self-referred or referred by their physicians. Obviously, we need revenue flow to pay the costs to keep open. Once things settle down and normalize, we will forward your appropriate records to your physician. We are not seeking to take over patients, just to help get through this crisis.
Because of my experience over 40 years in medicine, inpatient and outpatient, our organization often comfortably avoids hospital admissions and emergency department referrals because we have an on-site pharmacy and can treat infections with IV antibiotics outpatient if indicated, and the patient is stable and willing.
Obviously, if your usual physician is adequately handling your situation, rely on that. But, we are here as an option to possibly avoid an urgent care or emergency facility encounter. Feel free to share this message with others, including your physicians, many of whom around Harris County know me. We want to be part of the solution for a crippled and compromised healthcare system.
Ed Rensimer, MD