Novant Health brings the COVID-19 vaccine to patients who can’t leave home
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Yvonne Briscoe, 66, is the third patient within the Novant Health system to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the comfort of her home.
Briscoe recently suffered from a stroke. It isn’t easy for her to get the doctor anymore.
“It affected my whole left side, so now I’m wheelchair bound,” Briscoe said.
Fortunately, Novant Health has been bringing the doctor’s office to her. In September, the healthcare system launched a home healthcare program.
Novant Health Senior Physician Executive Dr. Michael Hoben says they noticed many patients who have chronic illnesses were missing their wellness check-ups.
“We noticed that with the pandemic, a lot of people weren’t coming in. They were afraid to come to the doctor. So, they were missing their follow up opportunities to treat their chronic diseases,” Dr. Hoben said.
To prevent lapses in care from leading to more complex issues later on, the hospital system began offering home healthcare. Dr. Hoben says they started by reaching out to patients who had chronic illnesses but had not been to their primary care provider for a long time.
Recently, Novant Health added COVID-19 vaccinations to the services it provides during home healthcare visits. Not only does it make it more convenient for the patient, but it also ensures the vaccine is going to those who are most vulnerable to complications from the virus.
“We’re targeting the patients who aren’t getting out for their other things, so if they’re not coming out for their diabetes visit or their, you know after hospital discharge and they have a follow up within three days where they’re really at risk of potentially going back downhill,” Dr. Hoben said. “You know if they’re not coming in, we need to get to them. So those are those same patients that probably aren’t coming to be able to get a COVID vaccine or able to navigate a mass vaccination site.”
Briscoe received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine during a wellness visit in her home Thursday afternoon. She says it will get her closer to seeing her grandkids again.
“It’s been really hard because I haven’t seen my family or my grandchildren,” Briscoe said. “I’ll feel more comfortable seeing them. I’ll still wear my mask, though.”
Right now, Novant Health is contacting patients within their system who qualify for this service. Dr. Hoben says if you think you need home healthcare, you can contact your Novant Health primary care physician to see if this option is available to you.
The healthcare system expects to expand services beyond Mecklenburg and Rowan Counties when more practitioners and resources become available.
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