Reagan County’s Hickman Rural Health Clinic rolled out a new way for their providers to see patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The system, Doxy.me, has been in place for a couple of weeks now with the clinic wanting to work out all the kinks before making an official announcement.

Reagan Hospital District’s chief of staff, Dr. Renee Gounden, said the new telehealth system has been a blessing.

“We have had to take measures to limit our patient’s access to the clinic due to COVID-19,” Gounden told the hospital board Monday night. “But, with Doxy.me, our patients still have full access to us.”

Gounden said patients receive a COVID-19 screening at the main door of the hospital.

If the COVID-19 screen is positive, then the provider is informed and contacts the patient directly by phone to determine if the testing should be done (based on current CDC guidance).



If the screening is clear of COVID-19 symptoms, the patient is able to fill out their registration from the comfort of their own car.

Clinic Supervisor Erica Wanoreck, MSHA said patients are then introduced to Doxy.me’s virtual experience.

“The patient will receive an invite to our virtual ‘waiting room,’” Wanoreck said. “They will be able to verify all of their demographics and a nurse will have the opportunity to continue reviewing any allergies and current medications remotely.”

Once complete, the nurse will send a link to the patient for a different ‘waiting room’ specific to their specific provider.

“This is not just a visit over the phone,” Dr. Gounden said. “Patients are able to visit with their provider through video chat. There is no software needed on the patient’s end. It is all web-based. All they have to do is click on the links texted to them.”

Wanoreck said, not only do patients get to meet one-on-one with their provider through video, they also can share files back and forth with their provider as needed  - such as providing your provider with an image of a rash.

“We are working hard to make sure no one falls through the cracks here at the Hickman Rural Health Clinic,” Dr. Gounden said. “Everyone is focused on COVID-19, and that is understandable. We don’t want other medical issues to slip by due to the current situation. Doxy.me goes a long way in helping us be there for all our patients.”

Reagan Hospital District CEO Jonathon Voelkel said Dr. Gounden did a great job identifying Doxy.me as a useful resource for the district.

“It is beneficial on many levels,” Voelkel said. “We hope it never happens, but it can even help if one of our providers becomes infected with COVID-19. They will still be able to meet with patients virtually to provide top-level care.”

Voelkel said the shelf-life for Doxy.me is long at the Hickman Rural Health Clinic.

“This is a tool that will be useful well after the COVID-19 pandemic runs its course,” Voelkel said. “Post-COVID it will be useful to provide healthcare to patients who have moved away and still want to see their favorite provider.”

The program cost the district $2,000.00 to set up and maintain. It is fully HIPAA compliant as well.

“This is a difficult time for our nation, but we at the Hickman Rural Health Clinic are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our staff, patients, and the community as a whole,” Wanoreck said. “We hope that the community will enjoy our new telehealth service as much as we already are, and we looking forward to “virtually” seeing you.”