HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — Harrison Memorial Hospital has opened up a ‘Cough Clinic’ to see patients with coronavirus-like symptoms.
“The physicians got together and said ‘We need to do something’ and our thinking was we were the first county in Kentucky to have a positive case, we have a lot of folks concerned about it, we need to provide some other means besides the way we have just been doing things routinely,” says Dr. Stephen Besson, an attending physician at the hospital and the chairman of the Infection Control Committee.
Since opening March 21st, the Cough Clinic’s already busy and it’s doing some valuable work.
“16 folks a day in this 8 hour clinic so that’s a lot of folks that would otherwise be in the emergency department taking away resources from people who are super sick,” says Dr. Besson.
And that was a goal.. they can do intensive testing, chest x-rays, blood work, strep testing, check oxygen levels and if they feel you likely have the virus the hospital can test for COVID-19 on a limited basis. The provider can also assess whether testing will need to be done by a private lab.
“But we have the ability to say ‘Okay, we think you’re high risk go home and isolate’ or ‘Hey, we think you’ve got this and don’t need to be as concerned’ and folks are able to leave,” says Besson.
And having a separate clinic offers some mental comfort.
“I hope that reassures my other patients that they can come to my office and not be at higher risk running into somebody that might have a COVID infection,” says Dr. Besson.
Dr. Besson also has advice for people worried by the daily case reports.
“Don’t be alarmed as the number of cases go up. That gives us more information. We’re just finding out what is out there,” says Besson.
For now, no appointment is needed and the clinic will stay open for three weeks but if the need continues, the hospital will do its best to keep it open.
The clinic is open daily from 1pm-8pm and is located behind the hospital. You will need to bring your insurance card, ID, and medication list.
No visitors allowed inside the clinic and anyone under the age 18 can have one parent guardian with them.