Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

SEARHC offers after-hours help line


Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium patients have a new option for after-hours medical advice.

SEARHC is offering a “nurse triage line” as a free source of health care information and triaging services when the local clinic is not open.

It is not unusual for people to have a health problem after the clinic closes, but in places like Haines, the main option previously was dialing 911 and calling out a doctor. Under the new service, a patient can dial a toll-free number and speak to a nurse or other medical professional about their symptoms.

Such a conversation might determine if a person is suffering appendicitis or just gas, or help a parent whose child is suffering from an earache. It might also alleviate the feeling of needing to be seen at the clinic, or needing to be seen before morning, according to SEARHC officials.

“Does the issue require a visit to the emergency facility, a call to the doctor, or is it something one might try to handle with proper home care? The after-hours line offers advice on things as simple as what over-the-counter remedies are appropriate for an individual’s cold symptoms and as complex as explaining what a patient’s new medication is for,” according to a SEARHC press release.

Additionally, all patients will be able to access a downloadable link via Smartphone or computer, which has an extensive library from which people are able to assess their immediate health concern/issue. If necessary, the application will direct them to call the triage line for further assistance

The service can be accessed by dialing 1-800-613-0560.

The service is not intended as a substitute for a relationship with a regular provider, but as a supplement to that relationship.

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