Plateau

OAK HILL – Patients who delayed surgery or other non-emergency procedures can now work with their physician to secure care as Plateau Medical Center resumed some outpatient elective services early this month.

Following Governor Jim Justice’s executive order allowing some elective surgeries and procedures in hospitals with a low or no-COVID-19 census, PMC began offering the services again on May 5. Safety remains the hospital’s highest priority.

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 is being limited and furniture in waiting areas has been spaced to maintain appropriate social distancing. Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and caregiving spaces has been intensified. Visitor restrictions for inpatients remain in effect.

“As we reopen elective procedures, our physicians and caregivers are working diligently to keep every patient safe,” Scott Keffer, DO, Plateau Medical Center’s chief of staff, said in a press release.

“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, COVID-19 positive patients are being cared for in the hospital, those patients will be 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 Josh Wedge, Plateau Medical Center’s CEO. “We are ramping up slowly to ensure safety for everyone. Patients can be assured that we are taking every precaution to protect them.”

All patients scheduling surgery or other invasive procedures will be tested for COVID-19 in advance of the procedure. The hospital is closely monitoring its inventory of test kits, personal protective equipment, medications and other needed supplies to ensure sufficient resources to support the number of patients in care.

At the same time, Plateau Medical Group physician practices are opening back up with limited hours. Telehealth will continue to be available for visits as needed. Clinic staff will be kept to a minimum to maintain appropriate social distancing. Appointments will be staggered and patients will come in one at a time to minimize wait times. For more information on physician practices, visit the website at www.plateaumedicalgroup.com

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.

For more information visit the hospital’s website, www.plateauhealth.com.

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