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Horizon Health Care Dental Clinics Initiate Phased Reopening

Woman on TeleHome Horizon Health Appointment with Behavioral Health Services

Horizon Health Care dental clinics will begin a phased reopening on Monday, May 11th. This will include ongoing care for patients with emergent or urgent dental needs, in addition to treatment for patients whose care has been postponed. All patients who need dental care are encouraged to call their local Horizon Health Care dental clinic to make an appointment.

Due to our compliance with the State of South Dakota and American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations, we have hundreds of appointments that were rescheduled for patient and staff safety. As we reopen routine dental care, we will be doing so in a safe manner, therefore our appointment openings will be limited and will be focused on patients that have already had their appointments moved.

Our office previously has and will continue to follow infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We adhere to the recommendations put forth by these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued, especially during this rapidly changing pandemic.

Horizon Health Care’s commitment to ensuring patient and employee safety will be visible during your next visit to our dental clinics.

  • Patient Screening. All patients who are scheduled during this time will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and will have their temperature taken prior to their appointment. If they indicate they have any symptoms, or have a fever, they will be asked to reschedule their appointment. All patients will be asked to bring and wear a cloth face covering and to practice hand hygiene provided in the office when they arrive for their appointment.
  • Limited appointments. Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients and to allow us to properly disinfect our office and treatment rooms. There will also be limits on types of procedures we are able to complete due to the shortage of personal protective equipment available to our staff. We want to be able to continue to provide care in our communities while keeping in mind the safety for our staff.
  • Limit Visitors. Patients are strongly encouraged to come alone to their appointment to limit the number of people in the office at any one time. Minors or other patients requiring assistance will be allowed one visitor. The visitor will be screened the same as a patient.
  • Employee Screening. All Horizon Health Care employees are completing a COVID-19 screening and temperature check upon entry into the clinic at the start of their work shift.
  • Increased Sanitation Protocols. Although strict sterilization protocols have always been part of our dental practice, we continue to wipe down common surfaces every hour to keep our patients safe.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the

steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our dental practices. To make an appointment, please call your local Horizon dental office.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Posted in: Blog, Covid-19

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Horizon Health Care Continues, Expands Appointment Options During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Horizon Health Care acknowledges that its operations have changed significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. What has not changed is the deep commitment the organization holds to continue to provide care to rural communities across the state of South Dakota.

“As an organization, we have maintained operations in all of our regions across the state. Our employees, like everyone, have been impacted by the pandemic on a personal level. Every decision we make is through the lens of ensuring safety for both our patients and our employees,” noted Christina Konechne, Chief Operating Officer of Horizon Health Care.

The organization has implemented many new procedures to ensure patient and staff safety, including screening procedures, car side COVID-19 testing, availability of personal protective equipment and a rotating schedule where possible to ensure the workforce is preserved. Employees are screened each day when entering the building to ensure they do not show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

Horizon Health Care currently has COVID-19 testing available at all of their medical clinics, though not everyone can be tested due to the availability of testing supplies and the requirements laboratories have set on which specimens can be processed. Patients are encouraged to call their local clinic if they have symptoms of COVID-19 for further guidance.

The organization is leveraging new technologies to keep patients and staff safe as well. Patients can now receive care through a TeleVideo visit or a telephone visit. To schedule an appointment, patients should simply call their local Horizon Health Care clinic where their provider will help determine which visit is right for their care.

“We want to reiterate to our patients and the community that we are here for you, our doors are not closed. Although we are in the middle of a pandemic, we recognize that other health
concerns and questions exist too. We are seeing patients in the clinic, in the parking lot, over the phone and through video,” remarked Lance Lim, Chief Medical Officer for Horizon Health Care.

The Horizon Health Foundation continues to partner with donors and to raise dollars for the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the Employee Emergency Fund. These funds will specifically enable our clinical staff to sustain their resilience while providing safe, high-quality care to our patients and community, and financial assistance to employees experiencing a hardship during this time.

About Horizon Health Care

For the past 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

Posted in: Blog, Covid-19

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