By Jeanine Mezei
U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Waking up to heavy snowfall and icy roads can put a damper on anyone’s day, especially when important medical appointments are scheduled.
Fortunately, Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH) at Fort Carson remains open 24/7.
“We want to ensure access to care for Soldiers, Family members and beneficiaries remains the priority of this command during severe weather events,” said Craig Williams, EACH emergency manager.
For severe weather days, Fort Carson will issue weather advisories — two-hour delay, mission essential reporting only or phased, early release. Despite these advisories, the emergency room and inpatient services are always open.
Beneficiaries can call the EACH hotline at 524-3637 to receive hospital status updates, including in-patient, out-patient and emergency services, based on current conditions on and around Fort Carson. The hotline assists beneficiaries in confirming the hospital is open and to ensure all appointments will be honored during severe weather.
During severe weather, each outpatient clinic opens at its regularly scheduled time and all patient appointments are seen, according to Williams.
During announced mission essential only reporting periods, patients with appointments are contacted by hospital administrators and afforded the opportunity to reschedule to a later date or confirm their scheduled appointment. Community Based Medical Homes outside of Fort Carson remain unaffected by severe weather events and follow the same process for patient contact and appointment confirmation.
If a beneficiary has an appointment at an outlying clinic on Fort Carson during an announced mission essential only reporting period, those patients will be contacted the morning of their appointment and given the opportunity to reschedule or confirm their scheduled appointment. If a beneficiary confirms the appointment, the patient will be redirected to either Iron Horse or Warrior Family Medicine Clinic within EACH to maintain the appointment with the scheduled provider.
When Fort Carson issues an early release announcement, hospital staff will see patients currently waiting and attempt to contact those who have appointments later in the day to reschedule. If those patients want to keep their appointment, they will be seen at their scheduled time or sooner, if possible.
In the event a beneficiary does not feel safe traveling during severe weather, he should call the appointment line at 526-CARE (2273) to cancel and reschedule the visit. Beneficiaries who booked their appointment or their dependent minors’ appointment through TRICARE online can cancel by visiting http://www.tricareonline.com/.Patients who are unable to make their appointments will not be considered no-shows.
“For those wanting to reschedule due to weather or keep their appointment, we will make every effort to accommodate them,” said Williams. “The safety of our beneficiaries is always a priority at (EACH).”
For updates during severe weather, visit the EACH Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/EvansArmyCommunityHospital.