COVID-19 Update—A Message to Our Community from President and CEO Barry S. Rabner
Thank you to our staff and physicians for their heroic work in caring for all of our patients, with and without COVID-19, and supporting each other during this difficult time.
I also thank the members of our community for doing your part by staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask in public spaces, and practicing social distancing. Your efforts have paid off in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and our patient census is the proof.
Over the past month, we have been carefully planning to resume non-emergency surgeries, tests, and outpatient visits.
These services are sometimes referred to as “elective,” but they are medically necessary treatments that were delayed during the height of the outbreak. We are phasing in the services gradually at the hospital and other Princeton Health locations to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to safeguard our patients, visitors, and staff members from any potential exposure to the virus.
If you are among the patients whose procedure or treatment was delayed, you will be contacted about rescheduling it. If you are not contacted soon, please consult your provider about when and how you should proceed.
The safety of our patients and staff continues to be our paramount concern.
For the foreseeable future, the additional precautions we put in place at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak will remain in place.
We screen every person — staff member, patient, visitor — for fever, other symptoms, and possible exposure to COVID-19 before allowing entry to the building. Those who are permitted to enter must sanitize their hands and wear masks. If an individual does not have a mask, we will provide one.
Visitation is limited because controlling the number of people in our facilities reduces everyone’s risk of exposure to the virus. We have reconfigured our waiting areas to ensure appropriate physical distancing, which is still crucial even when everyone is wearing a mask.
The waiting areas are cleaned several times a day in accordance with infection control guidelines. All exam rooms and ORs are thoroughly cleaned to strict infection control standards after every use. In addition, all clinical areas at PMC have 100 percent fresh air, which means patients are not exposed to any hazards that might be present in recirculated air.
Surgical patients are tested for COVID-19 before their procedures. If any test positive, they discuss the risks and benefits of proceeding or delaying the surgery with their physicians. We have the skills and the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect staff while they provide the care our patients need.
Individuals coming in for outpatient services will be able to complete most registration needs online or on the phone, so when they arrive to check in, face-to-face time with our registration staff members — who all wear masks and goggles — is minimal.
Our physician practices continue to handle some routine appointments using telemedicine, usually via a video connection through your computer, tablet, or smartphone. This has proven effective, and we expect telemedicine to be an important service for patients in our post-COVID-19 world.
Yet there will always be tests, treatments, and other visits that must be handled in person. For those visits, we stand ready to provide the care you need, and we are taking every precaution to ensure a safe environment.
Please visit www.princetonhcs.org/healthandsafety to read more about our safety precautions. If you have further questions, please call Patient Relations at 609.853.7490.
Thank you again for all you have done to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and for the tremendous support you have shown our doctors, nurses, and staff during this crisis.
We are all in this together.