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COVID-19

​Leadership Announcements

May 12, 2020: An Update from Dr. Tony Lin, CEO and Chairman, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic


In-Person and Virtual Visits Now Available. New Patient Protections in Place.

Dear Patients:

Thank you for your support over the past several weeks as we moved to offering Virtual Visits first for care. This was an important step in helping us protect you, and our healthcare workforce, from the coronavirus.

With the recent guidance issued by Governor Greg Abbott, we have begun adding in-clinic appointment options. We will increase in-person visits as part of our phased reopening process over the next several weeks, while continuing to focus on safety.

Virtual Visits will continue to be offered, and we encourage you to consider receiving care virtually if you are able to do so. We will continue to require our patients with upper respiratory or COVID-19 related symptoms to have a Virtual Visit first.

Providing safe, high-quality care to you is our number-one priority. Below are some of the measures we are taking to help protect our patients and our Kelsey-Seybold team as we increase in-person care, diagnostic screening and tests, preventive health exams, and outpatient surgeries.

Measures Being Taken to Keep Patients Safe at Our Clinics:
  • All Kelsey-Seybold providers and employees are wearing face masks and may use other personal protective equipment, including gloves, gowns, other face protection, and eyewear.
  • Employees are screened daily when entering the clinic, which includes temperature checks.
  • Kelsey-Seybold is monitoring in-person appointment scheduling to help accommodate social distancing while patients are in the clinic. We continue to encourage Virtual Visits whenever medically appropriate.
  • We have increased the frequency of our sanitizing and disinfecting procedures for our equipment and surfaces.
  • We will continue to assess new processes to protect patients while in our clinics and will adjust operations as needed to help improve patient safety.
Patient Protection Measures: What to Expect During Your Visit and New Face Mask Guidelines for Patients
To help protect patients who need to be cared for at any of our clinics, as well as our employees, we’ve put the following measures in place:
Patient Screening Process
Screening Questions and Temperature Checks Upon Entry: You may be asked several pre-screening questions by phone and again upon entry into the clinic before your visit. All patients and family members will have their temperature checked with a non-contact thermometer before entering the building.
Preparing for Your Appointment: To protect other patients and your Kelsey-Seybold providers and staff, we ask you to please follow these new guidelines:
  • Wear a mask or cloth face protection and keep it on for the duration of your visit.
  • Minimize the number of caregivers or family members who accompany you during your visit.
  • Limit the number of personal items you bring into the clinic.
  • Practice social distancing by keeping a 6’ distance from other patients or families when in line or seated/waiting in the lobby area.
  • Proceed directly to your department waiting area and strongly consider using our convenient online eCheck-in process through the MyChart or MyKelsey app within 24 hours of arriving onsite at the clinic.
Important Information for Children with In-Clinic Appointments
In-person appointments are available for pediatric patients. Call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000 to schedule an appointment with a Kelsey-Seybold pediatrician at a clinic location near you.
Please click here to learn more about preparing for your child's appointment.
Diagnostic Testing and Screening and Preventive Care Appointments
Diagnostic testing and procedures are available, and we are following national and state guidance to help safely care for patients who need diagnostic testing.
Preventive care appointments (physicals and well-woman exams) for patients 64 years old and younger will be available to schedule beginning May 18. Preventive care appointments for patients 65 years and older will be available beginning June 1. Please call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000 to schedule your preventive exam.
Outpatient Procedures in our Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC): New Guidelines to Protect Patients
In keeping with the recent guidance issued by Governor Abbott, our Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC) have started a phased reopening process to help ensure patient safety while we increase scheduling of outpatient procedures over the coming weeks.
Your safety is our top priority, and we are committed to a safe and measured reopening of our outpatient surgery centers to continue to safely deliver high quality care to patients. Click here to learn more about the measures we are taking to help keep patients and ASC staff safe.

Sincerely,
Tony Lin, MD
CEO and Chairman, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

April 24, 2020: A Message from Dr. Tony Lin, CEO and Chairman, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic


Dear Patients,

I hope this message finds you safe and well. I want to start by thanking you for your collective support as our organization rapidly shifted the way we deliver care to you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such a monumental change in our daily operations would not have taken place if our medical leadership didn’t believe it was necessary to protect our patients and our workforce. We know these have been challenging times for so many, and we are thankful for the privilege to continue to deliver care to you virtually during this time.

Managing Our Patients’ Care During the Pandemic

I want to share with you what we have done behind the scenes to respond to this pandemic and how we are preparing to care for you in the months ahead.
As one of the premier Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the nation, Kelsey-Seybold’s strength is in our infrastructure and expertise in taking care of patients with specific health conditions. We have shifted from managing much of a patient’s care in person to managing 90% of care virtually through video and phone visits.

In early March, we set up a COVID-19 care team led by Dr. Donnie Aga, our medical director of healthcare innovations and medical director of KelseyCare Advantage. Dr. Aga and more than 50 other providers, nurses, and staff have actively managed more than 8,000 COVID-19-related patient cases to date – thousands of whom required testing, monitoring, or ongoing care.

These efforts, combined with the continued outreach and management of patients via Virtual Visits, have kept us in touch with our patients to manage many conditions without their having to go to emergency rooms or be hospitalized. By continuing to remain available to our patients and streamlining diagnosis and care for COVID-19, we are seeing more positive outcomes for our patients.


Streamlining Care for First Responders

Seeing how our law enforcement officers and fire fighters sacrifice for us daily, we also created a HERO hotline for first responders and essential workers whose daily jobs are critical to our society in local cities across the Greater Houston area. The HERO hotline is staffed with our doctors and nurses around the clock to be able to address their healthcare needs.


Mitigation is Working; Data Shows We’re on the Right Track!

Your efforts to social distance and follow recommended guidelines are working. We are seeing a slowdown in the increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Based on our own data and data from public officials, we also see hopeful signs that our healthcare system should not be overwhelmed. But we need to continue to be vigilant and not let our foot off the pedal just yet!

We’ve listened to your feedback about how we can help you feel and stay safe when you receive care at our facilities. We are continuously enhancing our safety measures and following CDC guidelines, including new guidance about wearing masks. We know the continued importance Virtual Visits will play and are improving and expanding our virtual capabilities for patients.

While we face the same challenges in procurement of PPEs like others around the country, we have been working hard to secure supplies that will protect you and our team members. We also are working with other healthcare institutions to explore further testing capabilities so that we can be even more ready when the shelter-at-home orders are relaxed.
 

Your Health and Safety Remains Our Top Priority

Staying home and away from our loved ones is difficult. Feeling isolated is hard. When you add the financial, physical, and mental stress to an already difficult situation, it understandably takes its toll. Our physicians have put together webinars and video clips to help you navigate these feelings. Learn more about CareConnect Convos.

In spite of the many uncertainties and negative news of the pandemic, I am very grateful and hopeful as a Houstonian during this time for a couple of reasons: 1) we have a strong and collaborative medical community, including the renowned Texas Medical Center, and 2) Houstonians have grit, and we always come together during difficult times, emerging stronger and better after a crisis.

We don’t yet know exactly what the future holds in this pandemic, but I know we will prepare, adapt, and be there for you, our patients. We will get through this together!

 
Thank you,
Tony Lin, M.D.
CEO and Chairman, Board of Managers

Need to see a Kelsey-Seybold Doctor?

We are here for you! We have same-day Virtual Visits available to all patients, as well as after-hours Virtual Visits during the week until 9 p.m. and on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Don’t delay the care you need because of COVID-19! Here are helpful resources we’ve compiled for patients.

March 23, 2020: A Message from Dr. Tony Lin, CEO and Chairman, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic


Dear Patients, 

As you know, our community and nation are facing a challenge unlike anything we’ve experienced before. I’m confident we will get through this if we all work together. I want you to know that Kelsey-Seybold Clinic’s medical and administrative teams are committed to your medical care and safety during this difficult time.  

In response to the guidance from public health and government officials to reduce in-person interactions and practice effective social distancing, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic has made the decision to schedule patient appointments as Virtual Visits, effective immediately, whenever possible. “Virtual Visits” include Video Visits, Telephone Visits and E-visits. Please know that our clinics will remain open and physicians have the availability to schedule an in-clinic appointment after your Virtual Visit, if necessary. Diagnostic testing will also continue to be available should your physician determine that testing is needed.  

Our 24/7 Contact Center (713-442-0000) is standing by to assist you in scheduling Video and Telephone Visits, or you can directly schedule virtual appointments through your MyKelseyOnline (MKO) account or the MyChart/MyKelsey App. You’ll use your MKO account or the App to conduct most Virtual Visits. If you don’t have an MKO account, you can contact the MKO Help Line at 713-442-6565 (7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.)   

We know that Virtual Health is new to many of our patients. However, Kelsey-Seybold has been delivering care to patients virtually since 2016 with several thousand visits completed every year.   

Moving to Virtual Visits will help significantly reduce the risk of exposure – while giving our providers the ability to deliver timely, quality care to you. We believe this is right thing to do as we all work together to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Please read below for more about Virtual Visit care delivery now available for you and your family. We know information and news changes quickly. I want to remind you that your best source to find the most current information is to call our 24/7 Contact Center or visit our website at kelsey-seybold.com. You can also continue to call your doctor’s office directly. If you need care after-hours, you can contact our After-Hours Nurse Hotline after 5 p.m. weekdays or on the weekend by calling 713-442-0000.  

Our providers and clinical team stand ready to care for you and your family now and in the future. Thank you for trusting Kelsey-Seybold Clinic with your care.

Sincerely,

Tony Lin, MD
CEO, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

We're Here for You! Virtual Care Options Now Available and Delivered by Kelsey-Seybold Providers


Virtual Health Visits Now Available to ALL Kelsey-Seybold Patients. All Kelsey-Seybold patients can continue to get access to the care they need either through a scheduled Video Visit or Telephone Visit with our primary care doctors and providers, pediatricians, and specialists. You may schedule a Virtual Visit for any symptoms or conditions for which you would normally see your doctor in-person for evaluation and treatment. During your Virtual Visit, if the provider determines that an in-person appointment is needed, a follow up in-clinic appointment will be scheduled.

We have more information on our website about all Virtual Visit options available to you. Learn more by clicking on the following links:

  • Adult Primary Care Options and Information (Hours: Mon. – Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat. and Sun.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.): Click Here
  • Adult Specialty Care Options and Information (Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Click Here 
  • Pediatric Care Options and Information: Hours: Mon. – Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat. and Sun.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.): Click Here
  • Current COVID-19 Information and Care Options: Click Here

Preventive Care Recommendations for Patients. For patients with chronic conditions or who need ongoing care and follow-up, we encourage you to stay connected to your doctor and not delay your care.  
For the time being, we are asking patients to postpone preventive appointments – such as annual physicals, mammograms, and elective surgeries. If you believe your preventive care appointment can’t wait due to certain symptoms or health concerns, please schedule a Virtual Visit with your primary care doctor or any Kelsey-Seybold physician. 
Our medical leadership team will continue to assess what preventive care can be done as a Virtual Visit should the need to continue social distancing extend beyond May 1. 
If you are currently pregnant, please read important information about your health and ongoing care at Kelsey-Seybold from our Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jesus Samaniego, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. Click Here
Have Your Prescription Refills Mailed to Your Home at No Additional Cost to You. Kelsey Pharmacy recommends patients have their prescriptions mailed directly to their home or office with no added shipping charges. Kelsey Pharmacy will also mail or include over-the-counter products, if needed. Plan ahead when using this convenient service – check your refills and allow several days for mailed prescriptions to reach you. Learn more and submit your refill request online: Click Here
Staying Connected – We’re Here for You 24/7! Don’t forget, if you have questions, you can message your doctors through your MyKelseyOnline health portal or the MyKelsey/MyChart App.  You can also call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000 for care support, or to speak with a registered nurse, at any time day or night.  
If you haven’t signed up for your MyKelseyOnline account, now is a good time to register! This will be how you access Virtual Visits and communicate with your doctor. To register or learn more about MyKelseyOnline Click Here

(March 15, 2020 - 5:00 p.m.) Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is committed to the safety and well-being of our patients and employees. Effective immediately, we are taking the following steps to help reduce the potential of exposure at our clinics to protect patients and all clinic staff.

  1. We have made the decision to cancel all elective well-care appointments, including annual physicals, Health Risk Assessments, well woman exams, complete eye exams and other preventive exams effective Tuesday, March 17 through March 31. Patients with scheduled appointments have been, or are in the process of being, notified about their appointment cancellation. 
  2. Currently, newborn through 12-month check-ups will NOT be cancelled, as these are critical exams for newborns to receive immunizations and other well care checks. Parents with children over one year old with well-child exams should contact their child’s pediatrician either through MyKelseyOnline or by phone to determine if their exam should be rescheduled for a future date.
  3. We are postponing or cancelling many elective surgical procedures that may be scheduled at one of Kelsey-Seybold's Ambulatory Surgery Centers or within a hospital effective Tuesday, March 17 through Tuesday, March 31.  The patient's treating physician will determine if it is appropriate to proceed with the surgery or procedure and will communicate any schedule changes with the patient. 
  4. All diagnostic tests are under review for cases that are medically appropriate to be rescheduled. Patients with elective screening mammogram appointments from Tuesday, March 17 through March 31 will be cancelled.
  5. Kelsey-Seybold doctors will be reviewing all other upcoming in-clinic patient appointments to determine what visits may be medically appropriate to be conducted as a Virtual Visit or telephonically.  Our doctors will be reviewing each patient's appointment and making a case-by-case determination if the visit needs to be in-person or can be conducted in another manner. 
  6. We will continue in-person exams to care for acute medical needs (for example: sprains, broken bones, kidney stones, cardiac care) or any other acute needs requiring more immediate medical examination and attention. We will continue to offer patients virtual care options for many acute conditions as appropriate. 
  7. Patient evaluation and treatment for cancer care will continue. Visitor access has been and will continue to be restricted to one guest who accompanies the patient during treatment.

Other helpful tips for our patients to note: 

  1. Have your prescription refills mailed to your home or office with no shipping cost to you!  Don't wait until you are low or out of medication – refill and have your prescriptions mailed now – you can also include over-the-counter medications with your shipment. Learn More.
  2. Get to Know Your MKO!  Your MyKelseyOnline account offers many conveniences for you to communicate with your doctor's office.  Just a few of the things you can do on your MKO account or the MyChart/MyKelseyOnline, include:
    1. Send a message to your doctor's office 
    2. Conduct an E-visit and schedule and conduct Video Visits 
    3. Schedule or reschedule appointments 
    4. Check in for in-clinic appointments virtually 
  3. Schedule an E-visit instead of an in-clinic exam for COVID-19 or respiratory related concerns – open to ALL established Kelsey-Seybold patients. Learn More
  4. Call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000 if you are sick.  We have registered nurses and a dedicated team working around the clock to help evaluate your symptoms, screen for COVID-19 symptoms, and guide you to the appropriate level of care or provide you with options based on your symptoms.

A Message from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Medical Leadership Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

(3/12/20) Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is committed to helping keep our patients, employees, and healthcare providers safe.

We are following protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Houston Health Alert Network (HAN) to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Our 24/7 Contact Center is prepared to assist with calls or questions from our patients. We also have opened virtual care options for all Kelsey-Seybold patients who are experiencing respiratory symptoms. Patients can conduct an E-visit or Video Visit with a Kelsey-Seybold Clinic provider.

While most people infected with coronavirus experience mild symptoms, it is important for patients to call Kelsey-Seybold if they are experiencing symptoms of concern AND have been in contact with a person known to have tested positive for COVID-19 or have traveled recently to affected countries. The Kelsey-Seybold 24/7 Contact Center is available at 713-442-0000, and our staff is ready to help. Patients who believe they may have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus or are experiencing symptoms of the disease such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, may benefit from speaking with a medical professional or conducting a virtual visit to be screened and evaluated if further testing or care is needed.

COVID-19 APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING NOTICE:

FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR PATIENTS AND EMPLOYEES: IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING COVID-19 UPPER RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS (cough, fever, shortness of breath, or other respiratory conditions), PLEASE CONTACT US – DO NOT SCHEDULE AN IN-CLINIC APPOINTMENT. There are two ways to contact us before visiting the doctor's office if you are experiencing symptoms:

  • Call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000 for COVID-19 screening and care support. 
  • If you are a current Kelsey-Seybold patient, you can conduct an E-visit with a Kelsey-Seybold Clinic provider to get care for any upper respiratory symptoms. Log in to your MyKelseyOnline account or app to start an E-visit for immediate care. 

Important Resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus 

Resources: