Questions About COVID-19? Patients and staff find answers on SolutionHealth hotlines.
Are you worried that you might have been exposed to COVID-19? Do you have symptoms like cough, fever or shortness of breath? Do you think you might need to be tested for COVID-19?
A new service from SolutionHealth is helping both patients and staff find answers to their questions about COVID-19.
Two dedicated hotlines have been established, one based in Manchester and one based in Nashua, to field calls from community members and staff. The hotlines are staffed by nurses and Advanced Practice Providers, who act as a care team. These SolutionHealth experts field concerns about potential exposures, symptoms and testing.
Beverly Primeau, MBA-RN, CNOR, CRNFA, CASC, Vice President of Surgical and Procedural Services and Laboratory and Radiology Services for Elliot Health System, oversees the Manchester hotline. She says her staff are hearing from both the public and employees within the system. “About half the calls we receive come from providers and the public,” she says. “The other half of the calls have been from staff, primarily with HR and policy questions.”
Patricia Bolling, Director of Operations for Foundation Medical Partners, oversees the Nashua hotline. She too says her team receives many calls from staff. “A lot of callers are also asking how can they tell the difference between a cold, allergies, regular flu and COVID-19,” she says.
Based on the number of calls the two hotlines have been receiving, the service is clearly needed. In Manchester, the team has received a total of 1,501 calls as of April 9. In Nashua, the team has received a total of 423 calls as of April 9.
Primeau says the service her team is providing to the community is valuable. “Our experts are here to offer information in a time when people need access and may or may not have a PCP to reach out to. In addition, it has prevented unnecessary travel to the ED for people who should just stay home and monitor their symptoms (all the while providing guidance if things worsen),” she says.
Bolling agrees the service is important. She explains, “This has been a great asset to the ED and our primary care providers. By redirecting the COVID-19 calls to our information line it allows the providers and staff to focus more on the patients they are caring for in front of them versus fielding phone calls. It’s been a great resource for our patients and community to give them a live person to speak to on the phone that gives them the time they need to express their concerns and giving them some comfort. Staff are reporting they are getting a lot of appreciation from patients for alleviating a lot of stress and callers are thankful that we are there to answer their questions. And in return the staff is feeling happy too for the positivity and thankfulness the patients are expressing.”
Do you have a question about COVID-19? Call today!
Both hotlines are staffed Monday through Sunday, from 7 am to 11 pm.
Please note, hotlines are not intended to replace medical advice. Callers will be provided with information consistent with publicly available guidelines and will be advised to contact their providers with specific questions and to call 911 if they have a life-threatening emergency.
Kristine Gamelin, ARNP, answers phones at the Manchester site.
Elizabeth McLellan, RN, answers phones at the Manchester site.
Shelley Arndt, APRN, and Katherine Robbins, RN, answer phones at the Nashua site.