Dear patients, colleagues, and community,
We know these are tough times. UCI is here to support you in any way we can. We are taking several measures to continue serving you during this ever-changing situation.
At UCI, we are taking very seriously the world's attempts to 'flatten the curve.' We are doing this by practicing social distancing and decreasing our clinic and surgery schedules to accommodate the most emergent cases. These measures are being taken to minimize exposure among our patients and healthcare personnel. We are also trying to conserve healthcare resources and equipment proactively.
We know this is very frustrating for our patients, but it is also incredibly frustrating for us, because, as physicians, we want only to provide the best possible care for all. In making these difficult decisions, we have been working with local hospital leadership as well as following the national recommendations from the CDC and NIH. We are also supporting the guidelines put out by our governing organization, the American Urological Association. In our close discussion with our urology colleagues around the country, we see a consistent effort to contain the coronavirus, protect our patients, and flatten the curve.
But these efforts do not mean we have stopped caring for our patients. Not at all. Every day we are talking about and thinking about our patients and trying to develop innovative ways we can responsibly care for them. We are aggressively establishing a platform so that we can perform telehealth and telemedicine visits. We are meeting as a group with the local hospitals and healthcare leadership to stay on top of new information and changes. This situation is very fluid, and changes are happening rapidly - sometimes on an hourly basis.
We will see urgent office visits as safely and responsibly as possible. We will perform surgeries that are critical or urgent. We will have someone on-call and available 24/7. All eight physician partners at UCI are in Des Moines, and the physicians that traveled out of the country for spring break have self-quarantined for a minimum of ten days. Any physician or UCI staff member working in a clinical setting will check their temperature two times daily during their shift and will self-monitor for any symptoms.
We are committed to providing the best possible care to every one of our patients. We are in the process of reaching out to our patients via telephone. Our primary goals are thoughtfully considering individual patient needs in rescheduling and ensuring we are making the best decision in each unique situation.
On the other side of this challenging public health crisis, we commit to work diligently and to do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone in the community who needs it receives timely urological care. In these uncertain times, the Urology Center of Iowa wants the community to know we are here for you. And we know as a community, you're here for us. Together, we will overcome this challenge and, in the end, be better because of it.
Dr. Kevin Birusingh