BUCKHANNON — St. Joseph’s Hospital has implemented enhanced safety procedures throughout its physician clinics, outpatient services and surgery suites to help protect and reassure patients whose healthcare may have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that it is vitally important that patients stay well and manage any new or chronic illnesses,” said Dr. Sara Chua, Chief Medical Information Officer. “Chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes don’t go away during a pandemic and accidents and other illnesses still happen. We want to ensure that patients feel safe to see their physician or schedule screenings and surgical procedures.”
St. Joseph’s physicians are available to see patients and extra precautions for clinic visits are now in place. Appointments are required and are scheduled at intervals so patients will not have to wait in waiting rooms. Patients can also call the physician’s clinic from their vehicle and will be contacted as soon as the physician is ready to see them. Additional safe check-in and check-out procedures have been established with plexiglass shields and glass doors in place to further protect patients. Masks are required and are available upon check-in. While stringent cleaning protocols have always been followed, staff will have extra time for enhanced disinfecting between each patient’s visit. Any high-touch item such as door handles, tables and chairs are cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day. All patients will be asked to come to their appointment alone unless assistance is needed or if accompanying a child. If patients prefer to not have an in-person visit, telephone and video visits are also available.
Patients scheduling elective surgeries and diagnostic testing, such as mammography, x-rays, lab, etc., will also see increased safety measures. The seating capacity in hospital lobbies has been reduced to ensure social distancing, all reading material has been removed and masks are required to be worn by anyone entering the hospital, available at all registration areas. The same stringent disinfecting measures are taken throughout the hospital
For those needing walk-in care, our PromptCare Clinic is open seven days a week, 9 am to 9 pm. It is located next to the Emergency Department of the hospital and patients can be seen there for minor injuries and illnesses without an appointment. Patients coming to PromptCare or the Emergency Department will be screened and those with COVID-19 symptoms will be provided care in a separate area. Testing for COVID-19 is available for those with symptoms or with a physician’s order.
“We have been caring for our community since 1921 and are committed to providing the best in quality healthcare,” said Skip Gjolberg, St. Joseph’s Hospital President. “I want to encourage our patients to stay well and manage their health by receiving the care they need, knowing that we are providing a safe environment.”
Patients who had an appointment postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be contacted by St. Joseph’s Hospital staff to reschedule. For patients needing to schedule a new appointment, they can call their provider’s office or St. Joseph’s Physician Referral line at 304-473-2200.