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Charlotte Business Journal: Health-care providers ramp up… to combat coronavirus

Charlotte Business Journal’s Caroline Hudson filed this report on Tryon Medical Partners’ efforts to fight coronavirus. Please read the entire March 17, 2020 story here.

Here are the highlights:

  • Dr. Dale Owen is clear on his role in fighting the novel coronavirus. The practice he leads, Tryon Medical Partners, serves about 130,000 people in the Charlotte area — and as many as 1,100 patients on a normal day. Tryon’s eight office locations have separate sick and well areas. The staff is trained on when to use protective gear. Testing is also available there, but providers wanted to do more to keep the virus from spreading.
  • “What we anticipate with this level of growth of positive confirmed tests is that this is really going to overwhelm all of the hospital systems,” Owen said. “We just need to do our part.”
  • On Tuesday, Tryon opened its first remote testing clinic. The clinic is at 630 Matthews Township Parkway in Matthews. It opened at noon. Normal hours going forward are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The goal is to funnel sick patients to the remote testing site. That creates “safe zones” at the offices, where patients can safely be treated for other conditions, Owen said. Eighty people were already signed up to visit the testing site on Tuesday. Eligible patients can drive up for testing, but providers will also give mini-exams in case patients have another issue besides COVID-19.
  • Owen said Tryon hopes to open one or two more of these sites. It is primarily looking for existing building spaces to house medical equipment and technology infrastructure. Creating a site from scratch can cost upwards of $60,000, he said.
  • Tryon has the capability to test upwards of 300 people, Owen said. Laboratory Corp. of America, or LabCorp, is the main vendor.
  • “This is a war of a different type, right? We’re on the front lines. The health-care systems, physicians and their staffs are on the front lines,” Owen said. “We’re all in this together, and we have to show it. We’ve got to demonstrate it, got to bring it.”