A message to our patients about COVID-19 Coronavirus
| Published March 16, 2020
NorthShore Health Centers medical is open and operating under normal business hours. We are continuing to care for our patients. If you have a scheduled appointment at NorthShore Health Centers, please plan to keep this appointment unless you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath.
If you are a patient who is experiencing these symptoms, please call our office at 219-763-8112.
Below are frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 as it relates to our patients and community. The FAQs below are subject to change based on the receipt of more current information. The information on this page is subject to modification, pending guidance from the CDC, WHO and/or Local Public Health Departments.
What do I need to know about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Is NorthShore Health Centers testing patients for COVID-19?
NorthShore Health Centers is not currently offering the testing for COVID-19 at any of our locations, but our providers will complete a coronavirus telehealth appointment and provide a coronavirus testing order if indicated.
Does NorthShore offer antibody testing for COVID-19?
Yes, NorthShore offers antibody testing and can be ordered in the clinic or through a telehealth appointment. The COVID-19 antibody testing may provide insight to your previous exposure or possible immunity to COVID-19.
Can I bring children and family members/caregivers to my appointment(s)?
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NorthShore is not allowing patients to bring visitors to their in-person visits
- Patients with a disability which require additional care. In this case, the patient is allowed one visitor to assist.
- Children receiving pediatric care where as the parent or guardian are allowed.
We recognize that this request is not ideal, but we must keep the safety of our patients and staff at a top priority. We are consistently monitoring the effects of the pandemic and will return to a more patient-focused visitor policy as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding and please know that our care teams are available to assist all patients during their visits.
Should I wear a mask in the clinic?
The CDC urges everyone to wear cloth face coverings when in public. A cloth face mask that covers your nose and mouth may help protect other people in case you are sick. It’s possible to spread illness to others even if you don’t feel sick or have symptoms. A cloth face mask that fits snugly across your face can help slow the spread of viruses.
To support this important safety recommendation, all NorthShore team members and providers must wear medical-grade surgical or ear loop masks. Rest assured that we have supplies of personal protective equipment, including masks, for our health care providers.
And we’ll have a face mask for you, too. We require all patients and guests in our facilities to wear masks, for everyone’s safety. Because nothing is more important to us than your health.
Are eye care services available?
Yes, our optometry department is open with extra precautions in place to serve both new and existing patients.
What if I need a note to return to work or school?
NorthShore Health Centers is currently not offering coronavirus testing to fulfill work or school clearances.
What should I do if I have cold or flu symptoms?
If you must see your team and have active symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms including congestion or runny nose, please call our office at 219-763-8112 before your appointment. Nurses will provide guidance about whether you should come to the clinic or wait until your symptoms are gone. Only go to the emergency room first if you are having a medical emergency. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
Are patients screened for respiratory symptoms?
Yes, all patients are being screened for symptoms of respiratory illness at the entrance to the clinic.
Should I be worried about getting infected with COVID-19 at NorthShore Health Centers?
NorthShore Health Centers has extensive and thorough infection control procedures, and we will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our community. We have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.
Are patient education events or volunteer opportunities taking place?
As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we have made the decision to postpone all patient education events until further notice out of an abundance of caution. Some classes are available online on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northshorehealthcenters/.
Is there anything I can do to keep myself, my family and friends safe?
The most important steps to take are the same as for every cold and flu season:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Practice good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Plan how you will take care of sick family members. Make plans for childcare if you are sick or if your child is sick. Have a thermometer at home so you can check for fever if you or a loved one feels ill.
- Try to get a few extra months’ worth of your prescription medications, if possible.
- Stay informed – check the CDC site regularly for new updates.
NorthShore offers Video and Phone Appointments!
Staying true to our mission, NorthShore Health Centers now offers telehealth appointments for our patients and community. We are continuing to provide affordable, quality healthcare through video or phone calls for appointments with our providers for non-emergency primary care, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment.
What is a telehealth appointment?
A telehealth appointment allows you to discuss your medical concerns with your medical provider over the phone or video conference without visiting the clinic in person.
What visits can be done through a telehealth appointment?
A telehealth visit can be used to evaluate most mild to moderate illnesses, including concerns about infection with COVID-19. A telehealth visit is also often appropriate to manage ongoing health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and depression.
Currently all of our psychiatry, behavioral health and substance abuse counseling appointments are being done via telehealth.
Call (219)763-8112 to find out if you qualify for a telehealth appointment.
How do I schedule a telehealth appointment?
Scheduling a telehealth appointment is the same as scheduling a regular in-clinic appointment. Call us at (219)763-8112 and let the scheduling staff know that you would like to make a telehealth appointment. SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW
Do I need to call at my scheduled appointment time or will my provider call me?
Your provider will call you at your scheduled appointment time. When scheduling your appointment, be sure to give the scheduling staff the best phone number for your provider to call. Please make sure you are waiting by your phone up to 30 minutes before and after your scheduled appointment since provider may be ready earlier or later due to unexpected complications with other patient visits.
I heard NorthShore was a “free” clinic. Does that mean there is no cost to me?
Since NorthShore is for people with no insurance, can I still make an appointment even if I have insurance?
How do I know that I will be receiving quality care at NorthShore?
Our facilities employ board certified general practitioners, obstetricians, midwives, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, prenatal care coordinators, and community inreach and outreach workers. Behavioral Health Consultants work with our Primary Care Providers to ensure that emotional and behavioral issues are addressed as well as physical ones. We address your entire health and wellbeing and service is provided regardless of ability to pay.
Our entire organization from the governing board to the individual staff members participate in a systematic effort to improve the quality of health care and other services provided at NorthShore. The efforts to achieve quality are collaborative in nature and focus on assessing and improving our operating efficiency and outcomes for all departments.
Are checkups important?
The doctors and nurse practitioners at NorthShore will discuss ways to stay healthy such as healthy eating, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco use, and receiving preventative services such as regular wellness visits, required vaccinations and recommended screenings for all stages of your life.
Is there a correlation between good dental and good physical health?
What is a 3D/4D ultrasound?
Is getting an elective (non-diagnostic) ultrasound safe for my baby?
When is the best time to get a 3D /4D ultrasound?
How can I get good images of my baby on my 3D ultrasound?
What forms of payment do you accept?
Can I get a Diagnostic 2D Ultrasound when I get the elective 3D/4D Ultrasound?
Will my insurance cover the additional charges for the 2D Ultrasound?
Do you have gift certificates available?
What is a well child visit and why are they important?
The Bright Futures/American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed a schedule which recommends each age from infancy through adolescence a child should see the pediatrician along with suggested screenings and assessments to be completed for each well-child visits.
Your pediatrician will discuss immunization options to prevent illness as well as discuss, safety and address any other concerns you might have as your child grows. You will also be able to see how much your child has grown since your last visit as well as and talk with your pediatrician about your child’s development. Your doctor might discuss your child’s milestones, learning and social behaviors.