Breathing Easier

04/14/2020
"I am really grateful to be working at the Respiratory Clinic as a way to care for our patients."

“I have never received better medical care at any point in the medical system.” (CHA patient)

Patients at CHA’s new Respiratory Clinic at the Broadway Care Center in Somerville are getting timely care for COVID-19 and, in most cases, are staying out of the hospital.

CHA converted the care center into a dedicated respiratory clinic on March 18 as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In less than a month, the medical team has cared for more than 1,000 patients. The team helps patients manage their illness during clinic visits, follow up calls and other community support. This helps us care for patients in the community and avoids unnecessary trips to the ED. And it’s working! Only about 5% of adult patients end up being admitted to the hospital.

“Over the past three weeks, we have seen a steady rise in numbers of patients each day,” said Medical Director of the Respiratory Clinic, Janice John. “We expanded our hours, services and scope to care for their needs. This includes newborns of COVID positive mothers and prenatal care for women with COVID.”

Patients are sent to the clinic by their CHA primary care team, the COVID triage center or the emergency department. A referral is necessary - no walk ins are allowed.

Health System Impacts

This special CHA clinic is developing new guidelines to care for patients, in partnership with specialists inside and outside of CHA. It is allowing CHA to care for all of our patients, conserve our protective gear, reduce healthcare worker exposures to COVID-19 and keep hospital beds open for the sickest patients.

“I feel like I am doing something great for our patients, not just by caring for them but by being kind,” said Medical Assistant, Nancy Morales. “The patients that come to us are grateful. They are always saying beautiful words to us.”

“We’re tucking patients into a continuum of care when they are scared and worried,” added John. “They are deeply thankful and safer.”

About the Care Team

The Respiratory Clinic has a compassionate team of primary care clinicians, nurses and medical assistants. Their backgrounds include expertise in global health, infectious disease, research and full spectrum family medicine with obstetrics.

“This team inspires me every single day,” said John. “Their adaptability and humor is incredible. We’re constantly improving the flow and efficiency of the work while keeping patients and staff safe.”

Cambridge Health Alliance

Contributed By: Cambridge Health Alliance

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health care system committed to serving all members of our communities. We have expertise in primary care, mental health and substance abuse, and caring for diverse and complex populations. CHA patients receive high quality care in convenient neighborhood locations, and have seamless access to advanced care through CHA’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. With over 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville Everett and Boston’s Metro North, CHA is working hard to offer the integrated services its communities need now, and in the future.