St. Clairsville Doctor Making House Calls During Coronavirus Pandemic
ST. CLAIRSVILLE – A local doctor wants to make sure his patients get the care they need during the coronavirus epidemic — so he is going mobile.
Dr. Vic Wood, physician for Doctors Urgent Care in St. Clairsville, on Monday began doing house calls to his patients who are unable to reach his offices.
“In an attempt to keep our patients at home and healthy, Dr. Vic Wood, Doctors Urgent Care, and Primary Care One would like to announce that starting Monday (March 23, 2020), we will start offering house calls to our elderly, chronic disease, and immunocompromised patients so that they do not have to leave their homes and potentially be exposed to the covid-19 virus,” according to Wood’s Facebook posting.
Patients who live in Ohio can call 740-296-5761. Patients who live in West Virginia, can call 304-232-0725 during normal office hours to set up a home visit.
Wood said he is leasing two vans from the Robinson Auto Group that are carrying the equipment he needs to make the house calls.
“I used to do house calls when I was a young doctor. I’ve been a doctor for 32 years. I used to do them then,” he said, noting as a child he sometimes would attend house calls with his father.
Wood said the house calls are a natural step to protect his chronically ill patients during the pandemic, but he plans to continue the service beyond that.
“All the elderly patients, I don’t want them exposed it because of their chronic diseases and other issues,” Wood said. “I have a lab tech with me. We can do everything right in the house so they can stay safe.”
Wood said he posted his plan on his Doctors Urgent Care Facebook page. The post received more than 105,000 hit and by Monday morning patients were calling about the new house call program.
“We’re trying to get it arranged all in the same geographic location. So it won’t take that long to get people taken care of,” he said.
Wood said he has another health provider helping in addition to the lab technicians.
“It’s a very fulfilling thing to make a house call. It’s a wonderful experience,” Wood said. “We’re going to keep it going. It’s a big need right now.”
Wood said he has seen patients with coronavirus symptoms; however, those patients as they approach the clinic are asked via a sign on the door to go back to their vehicles, call a dedicated office number and then someone comes out in protective gear to examine them.
The patient is first tested for influenza and strep to rule out those conditions. If both of those tests are negative, then a coronavirus test is done on them.
“We want to make sure those patients aren’t caught in the cracks,” he said.