Special to Iredell Free News

Patients who have delayed surgery or other non-emergency procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic can now work with their physician to secure care as Davis Regional Medical Center resumes some outpatient elective services.

Numerous precautions for infection prevention, access control, social distancing and patient flow are in place to maintain a safe environment of care. Everyone who enters the building, including staff, is screened, and all employees, physicians and patients are expected to wear masks.

The daily number of procedures performed — which resumed on Monday, May 4 — is being limited and a separate entrance at the hospital is earmarked just for those incoming patients. Furniture in waiting areas has been spaced to maintain appropriate social distancing and cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and caregiving spaces has been intensified. Additional instructions are also provided to patients prior to their arrival. Visitor restrictions for inpatients remain in effect, with exceptions for laboring mothers, pediatric patients, and end-of-life situations.

“As we reopen elective procedures, our physicians and caregivers are working diligently to keep every patient safe,” said Dr. Chris Lariscy, Davis Regional’s chief of staff. “It is important to reschedule healthcare procedures that have been delayed so health conditions do not deteriorate. We also want to remind everyone that it is safe – and necessary – to seek immediate help in an emergency department for serious health emergencies like chest pain, heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening conditions.”

Non-COVID-19-care zones have been defined in the hospital, where patients who are screened as negative for COVID-19 will receive care from dedicated staff. If, at any time, hospital staff is caring for COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital, those patients are grouped together in the same unit away from all other patients.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our patients’ and caregivers’ health and safety have been our primary concern,” said CEO Josh Snow. “We are ramping up slowly to ensure safety for everyone. Patients can be assured that we are taking every precaution to protect them.”

Patients scheduling surgery or other invasive procedures may be tested for COVID-19 in advance of the procedure based on their pre-surgical screening appointment. The hospital is closely monitoring its inventory of test kits, personal protective equipment, medications and other needed supplies to ensure we have sufficient resources to support the number of patients in care.

The hospital’s plan to restart elective procedures at the appropriate time is made in consultation with the board of trustees, medical executive committee and surgical leadership and follows all local, state and federal guidelines.

Davis Medical Group Physician Practices

Davis Medical Group Physician Practices have also implemented additional steps for patient safety. While the practices remained open, hours may be limited in some cases. Waiting areas, including registration and check out, are designed to comply with social distancing. Clinical staff is kept to a minimum to support social distancing as well. In addition, patient appointments are staggered to minimize wait times. Staff and patients are required to wear masks. Telehealth will also remain an option for patients to use as needed.

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