Physician Information and Resources
Are you a physician with clinical questions about a patient who may have the coronavirus (COVID-19)? Below are resources and tools for you to use as you communicate with and treat your patients.
SWHR Physician Portal
You can find important information specific to network providers on the Southwestern Health physician portal, including:
- Clinician COVID-19 hotline number
- After-hours support contact information
- Clinician updates
ADDITIONAL PHYSICIAN REFERENCES
Below are some online agency and government resources available to physicians to provide further guidance and education.
RESOURCES FOR YOUR PATIENTS
Help keep your patients informed and safe by sharing these resources.
Southwestern Health Patient Resources — The page offers valuable, up-to-date information for patients.
Patient Hotline | 682-236-7601 — The Texas Health Coronavirus Hotline is staffed by nurses and available 24/7 to help answer patient questions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
All physicians in the network have been provided with recommended processes on how to organize their offices (either internal or external recommendations).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this preparedness checklist (PDF).
Both the CDC and DSHS use very specific algorithms for determining who should be tested. The current recommendations are found on the following websites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Texas Department of State Health Services
Known risk factors continue to emerge as more information about the virus is known. The CDC continues to assert that clinical judgment from providers should be paramount, and that individuals with chronic medical conditions (diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease) and in an immunocompromised state are at higher risk.
Several resources are available:
- Texas Health has a hotline available to network physicians, which is available on the SWHR physician portal. The hotline is available to all THPG physicians for questions and reporting PUI.
- CAP physicians have been provided with the Texas Health hotline number.
- A UT Southwestern solution for CAP physicians is forthcoming.
- For CAP physicians reporting PUI – DSHS has posted a list of local health entities and phone numbers for questions and reporting of PUI.
The CDC currently recommends following the recommendations for testing based on criteria outlined in the algorithm. Clinics must follow strict isolation and clean-up protocols, which most clinics are not equipped to do.
Current information from the CDC about testing (PDF) can be found on its website.
- THPG and UTSW physicians are instructed to follow their internal processes.
- CAP Physicians — A list of all THR facilities and respective ER phone numbers have been sent to CAP providers so that physicians can call ahead to let them know that a patient is being sent in based on criteria for testing. Their protocols will be provided to the caller at the time of the call.
- UTSW’s solution is forthcoming.
Drive-through testing centers are emerging across Dallas/Fort Worth. The local health departments continue to recommend following the CDC algorithm for testing. Available drive-through testing is listed below:
- Parkland — by appointment, Parkland patients only, physician order (as of 3/16/2020)
- The CDC has published a “General Mitigation Strategy” (PDF) for communities to address several strategies, including social distancing
- CDC recommendations for schools, workplaces and community locations
- The CDC offers several prevention and preparation resources:
- DSHS has several handouts and key information for patients
- Texas Health COVID-19 information and resources
- Texas Health hotline — 682-236-7601. Nurses are available 24/7 to answer patient questions.
- UT Southwestern COVID-19 information and resources page