SRMC safety measures have facility prepared for return to services
SALEM – As the level of COVID-19 infections begins to stabilize in the community, Salem Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is starting to reschedule appointments, surgeries and procedures that were delayed during the pandemic.
“In this time of uncertainty, SRMC remains our patients’ destination for hope and healing, and we are ready to deliver the care our patients need,” explained Anita Hackstedde, M.D., SRMC President/CEO. “During the months of March and April when nonessential appointments and surgeries were postponed, we began introducing new safety precautions, infection control protocols and innovative ways to preserve our supplies of personal protective equipment as we devoted our attention to fighting the virus.
“As of last week, we began to gradually reopen our services to meet the medical needs of people who have delayed care, while continuing to provide care for those with COVID-19. Because our top priority is the well-being of our patients and staff, we are taking every safeguard so our patients can feel comfortable receiving the medical attention they need.We are prepared and confident we can safely provide essential surgeries, procedures, testing and treatment.”
Enhanced Safety Measures
Masks Are Mandatory: All providers, staff and patients must wear facemasks when in the facility. Patients are encouraged to bring a mask to wear when on campus. If a person does not have a facemask, one will be provided.
Sanitizing & Disinfecting: SRMC continues to perform enhanced cleaning and sanitization between each patient encounter and the staff disinfects high-touch surfaces frequently. Deep cleaning of patient care areas has been an ongoing and established practice at the hospital and is performed according to rigorous standards. There are also multiple hand sanitizing stations located throughout the facility to encourage hand hygiene for all staff and patients.
Screening: Every patient will be screened upon arrival and this process includes COVID-19 screening questions and a temperature check. In addition, all staff is screened as they enter the building before they report for work.
Visitor Restrictions Remain: SRMC’s visitor restrictions will remain in place to limit the number of people in the facility. However, SRMC has introduced a new Virtual Visitor patient video chat service that uses iPads to give patients the ability to hold video conference calls with their loved ones.
More Ways to Maintain Physical Distance During In-Person Visits: “Appointments are being spaced out to accommodate as many patients as possible while limiting the number of people using our services at any one time. We have also rearranged our waiting rooms to encourage physical distancing and placed floor decals in certain areas to indicate how to stay at a safe distance from others,” Hackstedde said.
Surgeries and Procedures: SRMC has implemented several processes in addition to the measures above for ensuring that patients are safe during surgical procedures. Multiple screenings of patients are done at the time of scheduling the patient’s visit, upon arrival to the building and at check-in. In addition, physicians and surgeons are providing guidance on the risks of performing a surgery or procedure and discussing options with the patients to determine whether the surgery or procedure should be performed. “Our team of physicians and providers encourages the patient to make the decision that is right for them,” Hackstedde said.
For patients of any of the SCH Professional Corporation practices, appointments may be scheduled as a video visit. These virtual appointments have proven to be an effective way for providers to address many patients’ health needs.Patients will need a FollowMyHealth Patient Portal account for a telehealth visit. Go to https://www.salemregional.com/fmh-patient-portal to learn more.
Flu and Coronavirus Clinic
SRMC’s Flu and Coronavirus Clinic will continue to serve patients from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in a separate area of the hospital. Almost 600 patients have received specialized care for respiratory and other COVID-like symptoms. Patients are evaluated by an SRMC provider in a private exam room equipped with portable negative-air purifying machines.
“It is always a privilege to care for our community, but especially during this time of great need,” Hackstedde said. “We have been taking steps to ensure that we can provide patient care safely and still have the necessary supplies and equipment to stand strong against this virus. With the pandemic likely to go on for quite some time, we want to make sure people are getting the care the need for all of their medical concerns in a very safe environment.”