Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) is eager to resume more normal operations this week after the Governor’s March 17 order that suspended elective, non-essential procedures and surgeries for almost seven weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As soon as the Governor issued the green light to resume, our team was putting together a plan to get us up and running so that we may care for our patients,” explained FCMH CEO Mike Diener. Under the hospital’s plan, visitors are still restricted although exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Each building will continue health screenings which include a temperature check at each entry point. Masks will be required by anyone entering any of the three hospital buildings; those who do not have masks will be provided with one.
To promote patient safety, pre-admission testing will be completed by phone or, if possible, from the patient’s vehicle. Signage will direct patients to the back of the main hospital where reserved parking spaces will be marked. Upon arrival, patients should call the number listed on the sign and a health care worker will come to the vehicle. COVID-19 testing will be required for general anesthesia cases, ear nose & throat cases and upper endoscopy procedures. Providers may require testing for other procedures if deemed necessary.
Initially surgeries and procedures will be scheduled for two weeks. At the end of that time, the team will review and make any needed modifications, paying close attention to PPE usage and supply. Assuming all goes well, procedures will be booked on a week- by-week basis after that. FCMH will continue to follow the Governor’s order that prohibits any procedure that requires an overnight stay.
“Opening back up for business is a positive step for our hospital and the community although it is still crucial that we keep a very close watch on our PPE supply,” said Diener.
“We are seeing a slight increase in COVID hospitalizations across our region. Experts feel we are at a plateau that may stay with us for a few weeks and these numbers should be manageable. The safety of our patients and our caregivers is paramount as we remain prepared to respond to whatever may come our way. Again I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our healthcare heroes for adapting to all the changes that have been necessary and for responding with professionalism and pride. They are a testament to the tradition of caring that FCMH has provided to the community for the last seventy years.”