As a community health center, the Rinehart Clinic & Pharmacy stands at the ready to serve alongside the Tillamook County Health Department and in a backup capacity to the area hospitals, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In preparation for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases, Rinehart Clinic immediately put in place all guidelines and protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oregon Health Authority.
Clinical and administrative teams swiftly redesigned operations to support a telehealth platform, curb-side pharmacy services, increased access to behavioral health services, and have been proactively reaching out to current patients to meet them where they are in this time of crisis. The staff can even help find insurance through the Oregon Health Plan for people whose income or health insurance status may have changed during this time. The application process can be done entirely over the phone; there is no charge for this service, and it is available to everyone in our community, not just Rinehart Clinic patients.
Rinehart Clinic has the necessary safety measures and protocols in place for those patients who need to be seen in person, established triage protocols via nurse lines to assist patients, and developed a plan to screen and/or assess patients in the parking lot if they present with symptoms of COVID-19. The clinic’s role is to help keep patients out of nearby hospitals and they have identified an additional site nearby for providing remote services and may deploy clinic providers to hospitals, if needed.
Since the beginning of March, Rinehart Clinic has participated in the Tillamook Medical Advisory Group, a partnership of all health care agencies in Tillamook County, along with the local governments, social services agencies, and emergency preparedness groups across the county. The clinic is in constant communication with other health centers throughout the United States, either through the Oregon Primary Care Association or the National Association of Community Health Centers, to share best practices as they all work together to fight in readiness the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rinehart Clinic team is fully committed to the critical role they play as one of Tillamook County’s community health centers and remain dedicated to continuing to fulfill our mission of providing accessible, effective and comprehensive medical care and education, assuring optimal health and well-being for all in our community, regardless of health or financial circumstances.