SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Sometimes patients need preventive care screenings or have a gap in their preventive health care. The coronavirus crisis has made that gap even greater which is why a local healthcare system is bringing a bus to its patients.
Geisinger’s Mount Pleasant facility is where the health chain has brought its mobile health services bus. The idea is to bring valuable community health services with a very particular focus during this time of COVID-19.
Geisinger’s Mobile Health Services is making stops at the health system’s facilities. It was used earlier this year for COVID testing, but the focus has shifted this summer.
“We’re able to service our diabetic patients so we’re specifically looking at those patients and we’re able to help them get testing that they need to get done, ” Dawnell Morgan, LPN Performance Innovation Consultant at Geisinger Health System told Eyewitness News.
Geisinger has 45,000 diabetic patients system-wide. While patients typically would get that treatment inside facilities like the Mount Pleasant location, some postponed their visits during the pandemic, uncomfortable with stepping inside a traditional setting where there could be sick individuals.
“We have a lot of diabetic patients so to help them close those care gaps make sure, you know, checking their eyes for eye health and getting their blood work done,” Morgan said.
Patients get their eyes scanned with a specialized camera to look for signs of the most common form of diabetes-related eye disease.
“If you let your eyes go unattended and you have, you know, retinopathy starting we can catch it now. If it progresses you could potentially lose your eyesight,” Morgan said.
The bus also provides blood draws and other vital health screenings.
“We want to make sure that your, you know, your glucose levels are maintained and your hemoglobin A1C levels so catching it early is key,” Morgan said.
Geisinger expects to use its mobile health services bus for such things as flu shots and other health services in the future at more remote locations throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.