What You Need to Know About the Safety of Medical Care Right Now

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It may feel as if life has changed as we all know it and thinking about how you access health care may be on your mind. While we’ve been whole-heartedly committed to helping our community through this trying time, we’ve also been steadily planning for making our services as safe as possible for you when it comes to care for other health concerns, too.

As many physicians' offices and other medical facilities reopen, and some procedures and visits that were delayed resume, you may have questions about your safety.

AdventHealth Hendersonville has a team dedicated to Infection Prevention. They have been working non-stop to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect you, your loved ones and our staff and medical providers as we continue to offer you compassionate, whole-person care.

“AdventHealth Infection Prevention is committed to providing the absolute safest environment possible for our patients and team members,” said Michael Duncan, RN, AdventHealth Hendersonville Infection Preventionist. “Our commitment to you has resulted in the implementation of many new protocols and policies designed to keep our patients and staff safe as we continue to provide care for our community. Some of these include universal masking, door screening for everyone entering our facilities, and social distancing in the hospital, physicians’ offices and waiting areas. We’ve implemented UV light disinfection in our surgical areas, patient rooms, and other areas of the hospital in order to provide a safer, cleaner environment. We have also increased cleaning and decontamination efforts in every area of our hospital and physician’s offices. Please remain confident that we will continue to make patient safety our highest priority in these uncertain times.”

Here are some answers to common concerns about seeking medical care at this point in time.

Q: Are physician’s offices and hospitals able to care for other health concerns while caring for COVID-19 patients?

A: We continue to deliver the care our patients need for a wide range of medical conditions, from cancer to heart disease to vaccines and other preventive measures.

Our medical teams are still taking care of people with COVID-19; however, patients with coronavirus are treated in separate areas, both in the hospital and at outpatient clinics.

Rest assured that we are taking every step possible to protect you from contracting coronavirus at any of our facilities. And if you do have COVID-19 or its symptoms, our protocols will allow our staff to compassionately care for you while keeping other patients safe.

Q: If I go to the physician’s office or hospital, am I at risk of exposing myself to people who are infected with coronavirus?

A: As more facilities reopen, we’re taking the steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our own health care experts to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes limiting the number of entrances and keeping close watch over every door

Most people who experience COVID-19 symptoms will develop a fever. So, anyone entering one of our facilities will either pass a temperature check or go to another site for immediate evaluation. This way, we can help prevent anyone with symptoms from spreading the virus to others.

Q: Isn’t there a shortage of masks and other medical supplies needed to care for COVID-19 patients?

A: Our facilities are not currently experiencing a shortage of protective equipment (PPE), including face masks. When you seek care at any of our facilities — be it an urgent care clinic, your physician’s office or the hospital -you’ll notice that we are all wearing a mask, and you’ll receive one too.

Multiple studies have shown that universal mask use can reduce the risk of virus transmission by up to 80%, inside or outside of health care facilities.

Q: Can a family member or friend come with me to my appointments or visit me in the hospital?

A: Our main goal is to keep you and your loved ones safe. Currently, we are not allowing any visitors in our hospital or during appointments with physicians. Exceptions include: OB patients in The Baby Place, who may have one support person with them throughout the labor and delivery and Pediatrics patients, who may have one adult with them. In both exceptions, the person accompanying the patient will be required to take the same safety steps as you: wearing a face mask, getting their temperature checked before they enter the facility and staying six feet away from others.

We’ve also taken steps to designate a separate area of the hospital to care for patients with COVID-19. This helps ensure the safety of other patients and visitors to our facilities.

Q: Shouldn't I stay home to help flatten the curve?

A: Seeking necessary medical care is a legitimate reason to leave your house, even if other activities remain limited in your area. In addition, we’ve taken many steps to ensure you can continue to practice social distancing when you come to one of our facilities.

For instance, you’ll notice that:

Waiting areas have been redesigned to keep people six feet apart.

You may be able to wait in your car for a text that alerts you to come in for your appointment.

If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, you’ll be assessed and treated separately from those who do have symptoms or are COVID-19 positive.

Q: What if I prefer to use telemedicine or see my doctor via virtual visits?

A: Virtual care services have expanded to keep you safe. Many types of services, from health screenings to behavioral health services to follow-up visits and checkups, can be provided through online visits.

If you already have a physician, check with the office about scheduling a telemedicine visit. Whether you need primary care or specialty care, you can also connect with new providers who are seeing patients via telehealth. Learn more about your options here.

Q: What should I do if I have symptoms that I suspect are related to coronavirus?

A: According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Chills, with or without shaking
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat

If you have these symptoms, call your physician or schedule an online visit. If you have emergency warning signs — including persistent chest pain or pressure, trouble breathing, confusion that’s new to you or bluish lips or face — call 911.

We’re Ready When You’re Ready

AdventHealth is committed to providing the latest information to keep you and your family healthy. To learn more about the proactive measures we’re taking to keep you safe, visit AdventHealthNC.com.

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