Next week Spencer Hospital will reintroduce some health services that were suspended two months ago as a precaution during the initial stages of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“The hospital will carefully reintroduce additional services on June 1 after suspending certain non-essential services out of an abundance of caution,” said Spencer Hospital president Bill Bumgarner. “Service expansion plans have been advanced in consultation with hospital’s medical staff and are consistent with generally accepted public health guidelines. While risk of exposure still exists, healthcare providers have learned more about COVID-19 and how to incorporate mitigation practices over the past two months.”
Essential services have continued at Spencer Hospital throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency although many elective services were suspended. Service expansion plans entail reintroducing a range of elective services to include outpatient diagnostic, rehabilitative and screening services based on a patient’s needs and risk factors. Surgical services will be further expanded to include inpatient procedures. Limited outpatient elective surgeries were restarted in measured process two weeks ago.
“Our planning calls for an incremental increase in service access, to be followed by monitoring to ensure there’s not a significant increase in COVID-19 infection in the community, before considering expanding additional services,” said Bumgarner. “Non-essential services could be restricted or suspended again if there is a concern about the level of community spread.”
Services which will be reopened or expanded effective June 1 include the following:
· Cardiac and pulmonary rehab services will be offered in-person with number of attendees limited and safety restrictions in place.
· Diagnostic imaging and laboratory services will be increased based on patient needs, identified by ordering physicians.
· Physical, occupational and speech therapy, and respiratory services will be expanded, based on patient needs.
· Home health and wound care services will be offered on a limited basis, based on patient risk considerations and priorities.
· Diabetic education will permit individual in-person sessions but will continue to encourage telemedicine appointments. Nutrition counseling will continue to be restricted to phone or online appointments.
Patients and authorized visitors will have their temperature checked and be asked screening questions at the entrance of the hospital. Masks will be required for anyone to enter the hospital. The use of waiting areas will be limited and directed by hospital staff. The cafeteria and coffee shop will be available for take-out food items only.
“Spencer Hospital continues to seek the appropriate balance to provide needed services while also being mindful of patient, visitor, employee and community safety,” Bumgarner said. “It’s important to remember the threat of COVDI-19 remains very real. We should all continue to use recommended precautions in our work and personal lives. Doing so will make a difference.”