A Coronavirus Business Roundtable

Arkansas Money and Politics

Heading into May, a light was perceptible at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. But business across the globe will remember the 2020 pandemic for the number it did on the global economy. AMP reached out to business leaders across the state representing a spectrum of industries to ask how the economic shutdown has affected them and what their “new normal” could look like.

Bill Greene, CEO
Premier Gastroenterology Associates

How has your business/industry been impacted by the pandemic?

The biggest impact for Premier has been how we take care of our patients. Our No. 1 goal throughout has been caring for our patients, many of whom have chronic conditions that can be painful and debilitating. At PGA, closing the doors, even for a short period of time, was never a consideration. We immediately implemented a highly efficient telehealth program with all of our physicians participating, and 100 percent of our staff remained on duty to field patient calls and concerns. We also implemented the most stringent patient protection protocols in the state, which enabled urgent patients to come in and see their doctor if they were in pain or distress. This provided immediate care for our patients and saved them from having to go to a hospital emergency Room, which provided relief for the already overburdened local hospitals.

What does the new normal look like for you?

The health crisis has forced us to learn new skills, such as virtual medicine, which could make care better, more convenient and more affordable after the pandemic ends. This creates an efficiency of effort that allows patients in Arkansas a new option for medical attention. In addition, when we consider the “new normal” of the medical practice, we realize the requirement for efficiently managing scarce resources such as personal protection equipment. This is a critical skill because our ability to deliver care could be restricted by a shortage of masks or gloves.

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