Frequently Asked Questions About Care

Your health and safety are always our top priority and for that reason, we want you to get the care you need for your health conditions when you need them. The team at Northern Light Health is dedicated to providing safe, high-quality care no matter what is going on in the world and we want you to feel confident when you come to us. Below are the answers to frequently asked questions regarding non-COVID care at Northern Light Health during the COVID-19 crisis.

Scheduling Appointments

Yes, we are open to see all patients for necessary, general care in the outpatient and inpatient settings (at our hospitals and clinics) and our Safe Care Commitment ensures your in-person visits to all Northern Light Health facilities are welcoming and safe. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and recommendations to physically distance, we are also offering telehealth visits when possible. Telehealth uses computers or telephones to provide care when you are unable to see your healthcare team in person. In-person visits are still available for care that requires a face-to-face visit, physical examination, treatment, or procedures. Your care team will help you determine which is best for you.

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Call your provider’s office and they will help you determine what type of appointment meets your needs. While online telehealth visits are recommended in many cases, your health needs and your ability to safely travel to a Northern Light Health facility to help assess the situation.
 

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Our telehealth web page has a lot of information about online visits. Click here to learn more.
 

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You should always feel comfortable calling your healthcare team and asking questions specific to your care. We’ve also developed a series of videos to show you what you can expect at your in person visits to our hospitals, walk-in care, emergency departments, and medical offices.
 

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For patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 infection (new fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, shortness of breath, muscle aches or inability to smell or taste), we ask that you still call ahead for care. You can call your primary care providers office, our statewide hotline (844.489.1822), or our Portland area hotline (207.553.6050).
 
For patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the hospital, care is provided with appropriate infection control policies. In the outpatient setting, patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may be seen in a Routine Ambulatory Care for COVID Clinic (RAC-C) (this is a clinic dedicated to COVID care) or other areas that have been established with the same infection control policies in place. Staff in these care areas have access to personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 respirators, gowns, gloves, and eye protection. All staff receive training in the use of PPE to keep our patients, visitors, and staff safe.
 

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No. Please call your provider’s office or your local hospital if you need care. Medical emergencies are the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an emergency, you should dial 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.
 
We understand your concerns about seeking care now but, rest assured, we are here for you. Your safety is our priority. Delaying needed healthcare can cause your condition to worsen and create the need for more serious treatment.
 

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Arriving at a Care Location

You will be greeted by a Northern Light Health employee who will provide you with hand sanitizer and a face covering or mask if you do not have one. This greeter will also ask you some screening questions and take your temperature using a touch-free thermometer. You may be asked multiple times about any symptoms you may have during your visit—please be patient. This is for your safety. 
 

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Your safety has always been our top priority. During COVID-19, we have implemented even more safety measures to keep you safe. You can read about some of them by clicking here.
 

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We have observed that our patients already are doing a good job of physical distancing. We have also re-organized our waiting rooms and other public spaces with fewer chairs and marked our floors at six-foot intervals. We’re working hard to schedule appointments with time to avoid any crowding in our waiting rooms.

Our current universal mask policy adds another layer of protection; however, the expectation is that physical distance will be maintained through the use of scheduling, workflow changes, and physical design of our spaces.
 

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Yes. As part of our Safe Care Commitment, Northern Light Health screens all patients, visitors, and staff on arrival for symptoms to protect them, their families, and colleagues, before they are welcomed into our hospitals and clinics.

Admitted patients are screened for symptoms daily. Outpatients are screened prior to and upon arrival, and if symptomatic, are cared for via virtual visits or evaluated in person following hospital infection control policies.
 

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We require all people on campus—employees, patients, visitors, vendors —to wear an appropriate face covering as part of our Safe Care Commitment, to protect everyone in our hospitals and clinics. We encourage you to bring your own face covering with you, but if you don’t have one, we will provide one to you. It’s also possible, based on your symptoms at screening, that we may have you change your cloth face covering for a hospital provided mask.
 
The use of masks for all who enter our facilities is what is called Universal Source Control—it recognizes that any patient, visitor, or staff member could have COVID-19 without any symptoms. When we are all masked, we can prevent the spread of the virus to others.
 

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Yes. We clean our hands and spaces frequently and make it easy for you to do the same. Along with hand sanitizer stations, we have reminders to practice hand hygiene throughout our facilities.
 

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You will have multiple check-in steps, including one at the hospital entrance and another when you arrive at your appointment location. You may be able to pre-register for your appointment online.
 

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We feel that a support system is vital to your health and recovery. At this time visitors are restricted, but these policies vary by location based on community spread and the physical design of some locations. Please contact your provider’s office, or your local hospital, for their most up to date visitation policy.
 

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During my Visit

Yes, we have established new, more frequent cleaning protocols throughout all of our hospitals and clinics.
 

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We strongly encourage you to use the contactless, pre-registration function on MyNorthernLightHealth to minimize your time in the waiting area. 

Your provider may have you register once you are in the exam room to limit time in the waiting room if an electronic check-in is not available.
 
Your healthcare team may also offer “parking lot waiting,” where you can wait in your car to be called or texted when it’s time for you to check-in.
 

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Prescription Refills

It is often possible to have your prescription refilled without coming in to see your provider. Please submit a request for a prescription refill to your care team using MyNorthernLightHealth. Your care team will let you know if you need to come in or will send the prescription to your preferred pharmacy.
 

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Home Care & Hospice

Our staff are required to self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 including a twice a day temperature check. You will receive a call prior to any visit to check for signs and symptoms that you might be exhibiting. We will be cautious.

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  • All staff will be wearing medical procedure masks and during our visit we must require that patients and others in their home wear face coverings as well.

  • Face coverings are not medical devices, but cloth masks, scarves, or bandanas worn over the nose and mouth can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.

  • We will work with you to create your own covering and if in need, will provide you with one.

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Staff will wear full protective equipment as necessary and discuss it with you prior to arrival.

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While we prefer to see you in person, we can and have been checking on our patients via the telephone. We can also connect you with your provider from your home and use our technology to have a “face to face” visit with him/her. We will be there to work with your provider, take your vital signs and help coordinate your care. 

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If you need a home care visit or feel you need a telehealth visit, please call us today at 1-800-757-3326.  Do not wait. Your health is important and by talking to you we can help determine what it best for you.

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