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Sanford COVID-19 outpatient clinics look to create more outreach

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:40 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Healthcare systems across the country have adapted to meet the onset of the pandemic since March, adjusting how to care for COVID-19 patients and using new treatments. And with the beginning of the vaccine rollout, the process of care is still evolving.

Along with other locations in the system, Sanford Aberdeen is turning more patients to their specific COVID-19 outpatient clinic, creating more options for treatment and care.

Ashley Hansen, Pharmacy Manager at Sanford Aberdeen, said these clinics have served as resource points for hospitals in regional settings and allowing more people in the area to seek out information and treatment.

“It’s been a really nice way to have an access point for those patients if they may have COVID, or they need to be seen if they have a COVID diagnosis, or think that they may have COVID,” Hansen said.

Separated from other outpatient clinics, Hansen said these locations help jump-start the treatment process for those with mild symptoms of the virus, and helps prevent cases from becoming severe.

Natalie Braun, a CNP for Sanford Aberdeen who works in the outpatient clinic, said it allows staff to have a better understanding of each individual case they see, and tailor treatment to them to spare resources for those who need hospitalization.

“We can start medications earlier on in the treatment, which helps with hospitalizations, things like that. So yeah, it’s good for us to get a baseline where the patient is at and follow them along during their COVID process.” Braun said.

Setting up these clinics is a process Hansen said is a result of what Sanford and healthcare workers have learned in the last 10 months, as treatment evolves to help relieve stress from hospitals. And Hansen said it’s a system that will continue to serve as another option for COVID-19 patients through to the end of the pandemic.

“This virus affects everybody a little bit differently. And with that, you just never know how it’s going to affect you personally. Or, you know, now we’re starting to see some folks have that reinfection. You know, where they had COVID initially, maybe it wasn’t so bad.” Hansen said.

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