RAPID CITY, S.D. — Patients of Monument Health in Rapid City, Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Sturgis or Spearfish can now go online and schedule drive-up COVID- 19 tests at any of the aforementioned locations.
Before Monument unveiled the new system, patients had to schedule their visits by calling the Nurse Triage line. This new option is for patients who don’t need to speak to a nurse and just want to schedule a drive-up test.
The Nurse Triage Line will continue to monitor and be a resource for COVID-19 patients who have questions, complex cases or need to schedule an in-person visit with a doctor or a telemedicine doctor visit. The Nurse Triage Line will also continue to operate the Care Companion Program, which monitors COVID-19 patients who test themselves at home.
Since being launched in the spring, the Nurse Triage Hotline has taken about 40,000 calls and has guided patients through testing/treatment during the pandemic.
According to Stephanie Lahr, M.D., and Chief Information Officer/Chief Medical Information Officer at Monument Health, at one time the Triage Line was receiving about 250 calls per day during weekdays and 100 calls per day on the weekend. Recently, as many as 500 people per day have been calling during weekdays and 200 on weekends.
“It has been a great resource for so many patients, and we’re excited that it’s been a success,” Dr. Lahr said. “We’re also frustrated that patients are spending a lot of time on hold.”
Lahr said that the new program will free up patient’s time and help the nurses to better serve those who have more complicated cases of the virus or other questions.