Mercy hospitals to open temporary triage space for suspected COVID-19 patients

Coronavirus

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Mercy hospitals in Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas will open temporary triage space near main emergency room entrances to provide help for those who think they may have COVID-19, Mercy announced on Monday.

The hospital says this extra level of triage will protect patients who are visiting the ER for unrelated issues.

If the initial triage nurse suspects COVID-19, the patient will be isolated from others and treated in that space.

If they are more ill, they will be routed through a separate entrance to “minimize exposure to the waiting room and other patients,” Mercy said in a statement on Monday.

Virtual Visits

Virtual visits will also be used to reduce exposure risk for patients.

Mercy says its goal is to have 95 percent of visits happen virtually in the coming days. Patients with an established Mercy physician can call their regular clinic number or the Mercy Call Center at (888) 338-3885 in Northwest Arkansas and (844) 673-3939 in Fort Smith.

Specialized Convenient Care

The hospital has established dedicated clinics to keep those with suspected respiratory illnesses separate from other patients.

Fort Smith:

  • Mercy Convenient Care – River Valley, 3505 S. 79th St., 479-709-8686,
  • Mercy Convenient Care – Zero Street, 1400 Zero St., 479-573-3082. Patients are recommended to call ahead

Northwest Arkansas:

  • In Northwest Arkansas, patients must have a referral from a Mercy primary care physician (virtual visit) to Mercy Convenient Care – Highway 102. Patients with moderate to severe respiratory symptoms first will be seen in a drive-through clinic to assess their symptoms and get treatment. Those with more severe symptoms will be seen inside the clinic building, with possible transfer to Mercy Hospital ER for patients with the most critical symptoms.
  • Mercy Northwest Arkansas encourages patients needing care for non-respiratory symptoms to visit Mercy GoHealth locations in Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers that are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.

Acute Injury Clinics

To keep patients with physical injuries separated, Mercy will open acute injury clinics, staffed by physicians specializing in orthopedics in Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith.

Fort Smith

  • Mercy Clinic Orthopedics and Mercy Clinic Podiatry, 3501 Knight Drive, will take walk-in patients 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 479-709-6700.

Northwest Arkansas

  • Mercy Clinic Orthopedics – Rogers, 1000 S. 52nd St., will take acute injury patients by referral from primary care physicians

More information about Mercy’s response to COVID-19 and visitor restrictions at hospitals is available here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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