Ebola Screening Protocols at our Practices

While the present case count for Ebola in the U.S. and the likelihood of a significant outbreak of the disease both remain extremely low, out of an abundance of caution and to support the health and safety of our patients and staff, we have developed Ebola screening protocols and patient education materials that you can expect to see and hear about as you visit or call our practices.

CALL US FIRST

Should you or a family member who is a patient meet any of the criteria below, please call us first. We can triage your needs and then direct you to the most appropriate care setting as quickly as possible.

Please call the office if in the past 21 days… Continue reading

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Get Your Flu Vaccine Here!

flu season ahead signInfluenza, sometimes simply called “flu,” is a serious illness. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Therefore, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

Many people have questions about the flu and the flu vaccine. Dr. Ben Kruskal, Chief of Infectious Disease at Harvard Vanguard, answers commonly-asked questions about them in this short video.

Harvard Vanguard practice sites are receiving shipments of their flu vaccine supply and will be scheduling appointments for seasonal flu vaccination as long as supply lasts. Continue reading

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Better Care for a Better Life: John

Patient-Story-JohnJohn crossed the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon in 4 hours and 32 minutes, but his journey actually started a year earlier.

Hoping to get out of Boston ahead of Marathon and Red Sox traffic to coach lacrosse in Wayland, John, General Counsel for The Life is good Company, left the company’s Boylston Street office just after 2:30 p.m. on April 15, 2013. He was strolling down Boylston Street to get his car from a parking garage when the first bomb went off. He was in front of the Forum restaurant when the second bomb exploded next to him seconds later. Continue reading

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The Mass HIway

Mass HIwayThe Atrius Health medical groups including Harvard Vanguard are participating in the Mass HIway, a secure statewide computer database that assists in connecting your healthcare providers so your health information can be more easily shared between them.

The Mass HIway does not store patients’ medical records or any health information; instead, and only with your consent, you allow your healthcare organization to send demographic information about you to the Mass HIway to be stored in a secure database. Your provider can safely send your information to any other organization participating in the Mass HIway. In addition, the demographic data can be searched by these other healthcare organizations (like hospitals) that participate in the Mass HIway, and they can more quickly and safely request and receive your health information and medical history when they need it to care for you. Continue reading

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A 21-day Vegan Challenge

Vegan Food.shutterstock_198372692Whether you want to improve your overall health, lose weight, demonstrate your compassion for animals, or help the environment, there are numerous reasons to eat fewer foods that come from animals. If you have thought about this before but didn’t know how to start, take a moment to read this story – I hope it will give you some ideas and inspiration to get started. Continue reading

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Update: Message to Our Patients and Visitors

To our patients and visitors:

As you may have heard, a patient was briefly in the Braintree Harvard Vanguard office on Sunday 10/12 with a question raised of Ebola virus infection. At the moment, things are looking like the probability that this patient has Ebola is quite low.

The patient, who was clinically stable, was quickly ushered out of the building and into his own car to reduce any potential exposure of others, before being transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for further evaluation. Ebola transmission requires exposure to blood or body fluids. This patient had no cough or sneezing, no vomiting or diarrhea ,and no bleeding, and therefore was not exposing anyone to blood or body fluids. NO ONE in the Braintree office would have had significant exposure—neither our staff nor other patients present in the building at the time. Patients and staff who were in the building at the time do NOT pose any risk to others. They do NOT need any special disinfection or decontamination or temperature monitoring.

The only disinfection necessary for the building was straightforward and minor, using CDC specified cleaning solution and was done before the building opened today.

Staff and patients coming to Braintree are safe. We have reviewed procedures with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and are confident that all is being done appropriately. Normal operations continue at Braintree today Monday, 10/13.

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Updated information about a patient who visited our Braintree practice

The following is a statement that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center released on Sunday night about a patient being evaluated there that had been at our Braintree practice earlier in the day:

Earlier today, we had been asked to accept in transfer a patient who had reported traveling from Liberia. While Liberia is an area where Ebola is present, after our initial evaluation, this patient does not appear to meet CDC criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola and the likelihood of Ebola Virus Disease is extremely low. The patient will remain in isolation as we continue to evaluate and monitor the patient’s condition. All precautions continue to be taken to ensure the safety of our patients, their families and our staff. We are in close contact with the Boston Public Health Commission and the State Department of Public Health.

The hospital remains open for all normal clinical operations and visits.

We don’t anticipate any further information on this matter tonight.

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Update: Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Statement

A patient who had been to Liberia presented himself today at the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates  Braintree practice complaining of headache and muscle aches. Out of an abundance of caution we immediately notified authorities and the patient was securely removed from the building and put into an ambulance now headed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The building was closed briefly but has now re-opened. We are working closely with the State Department of Public Health.

Update: As of 5:30pm today, our Braintree practice has been cleared by the State Department of Public Health to reopen for usual business and will be open for holiday hours tomorrow.

 

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Harvard Vanguard Practices Receive PCMH 2011 Recognition

VC0A3832We are excited to share that all Harvard Vanguard practices have received recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 (PCMH 2011).

PCMH 2011 sets the newest standards for a model of healthcare delivery that encourages improved quality and enables greater involvement of patients in their own care. It is based upon standards that assess whether a physician practice functions as a “patient-centered medical home.” A patient-centered medical home is a setting where each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician who leads a team and an organization that takes collective responsibility for patient care. Continue reading

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Columbus Day Holiday Hours Notice

Christopher ColumbusOn Monday, October 13th, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates will be closed for the Columbus Day holiday except for those practices listed below, which are open for pre-scheduled urgent care appointments. If you feel you need medical advice or think that you may need to be seen, call your doctor’s office at any time, day or night. Your call will be directed to our 24/7 medical staff and triaged as needed. If it is determined that you need an urgent care appointment, the medical staff can schedule you for an appointment.

As always, if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency access number.

Please note: Pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology will be open at the times listed below as well. Continue reading

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