I hope this message finds you safe and well. I want to start by thanking you for your collective support as our organization rapidly shifted the way we deliver care to you during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such a monumental change in our daily operations would not have taken place if our medical leadership didn’t believe it was necessary to protect our patients and our workforce. We know these have been challenging times for so many, and we are thankful for the privilege to continue to deliver care to you virtually during this time.
Managing Our Patients’ Care During the Pandemic
I want to share with you what we have done behind the scenes to respond to this pandemic and how we are preparing to care for you in the months ahead.
As one of the premier Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the nation, Kelsey-Seybold’s strength is in our infrastructure and expertise in taking care of patients with specific health conditions. We have shifted from managing much of a patient’s care in person to managing 90% of care virtually through video and phone visits.
In early March, we set up a COVID-19 care team led by Dr. Donnie Aga, our medical director of healthcare innovations and medical director of KelseyCare Advantage. Dr. Aga and more than 50 other providers, nurses, and staff have actively managed more than 8,000 COVID-19-related patient cases to date – thousands of whom required testing, monitoring, or ongoing care.
These efforts, combined with the continued outreach and management of patients via Virtual Visits, have kept us in touch with our patients to manage many conditions without their having to go to emergency rooms or be hospitalized. By continuing to remain available to our patients and streamlining diagnosis and care for COVID-19, we are seeing more positive outcomes for our patients.
Streamlining Care for First Responders
Seeing how our law enforcement officers and fire fighters sacrifice for us daily, we also created a HERO hotline for first responders and essential workers whose daily jobs are critical to our society in local cities across the Greater Houston area. The HERO hotline is staffed with our doctors and nurses around the clock to be able to address their healthcare needs.
Mitigation is Working; Data Shows We’re on the Right Track!
Your efforts to social distance and follow recommended guidelines are working. We are seeing a slowdown in the increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Based on our own data and data from public officials, we also see hopeful signs that our healthcare system should not be overwhelmed. But we need to continue to be vigilant and not let our foot off the pedal just yet!
We’ve listened to your feedback about how we can help you feel and stay safe when you receive care at our facilities. We are continuously enhancing our safety measures and following CDC guidelines, including new guidance about wearing masks. We know the continued importance Virtual Visits will play and are improving and expanding our virtual capabilities for patients.
While we face the same challenges in procurement of PPEs like others around the country, we have been working hard to secure supplies that will protect you and our team members. We also are working with other healthcare institutions to explore further testing capabilities so that we can be even more ready when the shelter-at-home orders are relaxed.
Your Health and Safety Remains Our Top Priority
Staying home and away from our loved ones is difficult. Feeling isolated is hard. When you add the financial, physical, and mental stress to an already difficult situation, it understandably takes its toll. Our physicians have put together webinars and video clips to help you navigate these feelings. Learn more about CareConnect Convos.
In spite of the many uncertainties and negative news of the pandemic, I am very grateful and hopeful as a Houstonian during this time for a couple of reasons: 1) we have a strong and collaborative medical community, including the renowned Texas Medical Center, and 2) Houstonians have grit, and we always come together during difficult times, emerging stronger and better after a crisis.
We don’t yet know exactly what the future holds in this pandemic, but I know we will prepare, adapt, and be there for you, our patients. We will get through this together!
Tony Lin, M.D.
CEO and Chairman, Board of Managers
Need to see a Kelsey-Seybold Doctor?
We are here for you! We have same-day Virtual Visits available to all patients, as well as after-hours Virtual Visits during the week until 9 p.m. and on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.