Thinking of heading to Idaho Falls to see a specialist, but afraid of making the drive in winter?
With their newly remodeled suite of exam rooms, Teton Valley Health Care is making
it easier for locals to see specialty physicians without having to leave the valley.
“Teton Valley is fairly isolated and it can be especially hard to drive out of town during the winter,” hospital CEO Keith Gnagey said in a press release. “I would rather have one doctor make the trip from Idaho Falls than have 20 local residents make the trip.”
Access this medical vending machine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Teton Valley Hospital.
A new type of vending machine has been installed in the public entry way of Teton Valley Hospital. It doesn’t contain the usual fare of candy and soda pop. Instead, people can push the buttons to get Infant Tylenol, oxygen tank nasal cannulas, over-the-counter allergy pills and much more.
After tallying between 10 to 15 requests per month for urgent (but non-emergency) medications and supplies every month, the nursing staff at Teton Valley Hospital recognized a community need for a 24/7 dispenser. The Community Foundation of Teton Valley agreed and contributed a grant award of $2,500 toward the purchase of the $4,300 unit. Teton Valley Hospital Foundation kicked in an additional $1,500 with Teton Valley Hospital paying for inventory and installation.
One local mother shared the story of her one-year old awakening at 2 a.m. with an ear infection. After discovering that she didn’t have any infant pain relievers, she ended up driving to a friend’s home to get the medication. Other people have stories that include night-time drives to pick up diapers, stretch bandages, teething medications, and wound dressings from friends and neighbors.
“Our current selection is based on what people seem to ask for the most, usually in the middle of the night. By law, our nursing and medical staff aren’t permitted to give over-the-counter supplies, yet we want to help people avoid checking into the ER for a condition that’s relatively simple to fix,” says Angela Booker, TVHC chief nursing officer.
Inventory items include:
Oxygen tank tubing
Contact lens rinse
Adult incontinence pads
A selection of pain relievers
More items will be added or replaced based on demand. The machine accepts cash and credit cards.
“It can be frustrating to realize that a vital item is missing from your medicine cabinet, especially at a time when all of the stores are closed,” said Booker.
We appreciate the financial support from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley and our hospital foundation. People have already made purchases from our machine and have given us good feedback.
If you have a suggestion for a vending machine item, send an email to Teton Valley Health Care at firstname.lastname@example.org.