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CentraCare Offers Online Scheduling for COVID-19 Testing

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

New service will reduce wait times currently experienced at call center

Since COVID-19 reached St. Cloud eight months ago, CentraCare’s nurse triage call center has handled more than 2,000,000 calls from the community. The unusually high volume has resulted in long wait times, but CentraCare has implemented measures to help the situation, and more improvements are imminent.

“COVID-19 has challenged every organization in extraordinary and unpredictable ways – including CentraCare,” said Kathy Parsons, vice president of population health. “We could never have imagined, just a few months ago, that a global pandemic would stress our call center capacity far beyond its limits.”

To provide greater service, CentraCare recently implemented an online, self-scheduling function specifically for those needing COVID-19 testing. Self-scheduling can be conducted through CentraCare.com by clicking “schedule an appointment” on the home page. Patients will be given the option to make an appointment based on time and location. CentraCare offers curbside COVID-19 testing services in several communities throughout the region including Becker, Long Prairie, Melrose, Monticello, Paynesville, Sauk Centre and St. Cloud. View online COVID-19 test scheduling now

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have a known contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested. If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 cases, but do not have symptoms, it is best to be tested after 3 days of that exposure. This will help ensure you get a more valid result.

CentraCare patients can also schedule COVID-19 testing through their MyChart account.

In addition to using the online feature, there are other options patients can utilize to get faster service.

“We would also encourage people to call outside of business hours,” Parsons said. “Wait times are much shorter during off-peak hours.” CentraCare also suggests that if patients have an office visit and need a follow-up visit, schedule the follow-up before leaving the office. This avoids having to call for your next appointment.

CentraCare is actively exploring other ways to accommodate the large number of callers, including staffing and technology changes. Parsons says, “This is a high priority for us. Our goal is to deliver the level of service through our call center that we desire for our patients and that they deserve.”