Restarting Services Slowly and Safely
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Upland Hills Health is taking steps to safely resume access to vital healthcare services.
Over the past several weeks, Upland Hills Health (UHH) hospital and clinics have heeded governmental recommendations to postpone non-emergency procedures and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time a team of hospital officials and physicians at UHH have dedicated themselves to modifying processes and patient traffic flow to ensure the safety of patients, healthcare service providers and the community as they work to slow the spread of the virus.
The pandemic has impacted how the hospital and clinic services are operating, but providers and staff have remained open and ready to help the community with emergencies and urgent care needs. Hospital and clinic staff have implemented COVID-19 protocols to ensure patients are able to receive urgent, necessary procedures, and diagnostic testing.
Now, President of Upland Hills Health, Lisa Schnedler states that suspended services and postponed procedures will be restarting, slowly and carefully.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic has further strengthened our steadfast dedication to safe, high-quality care,” Schnedler said. “We will be taking a slow, measured effort to address more of our communities’ health needs while continuing to observe precautions put in place by the Safer at Home Order.
Postponement cannot continue indefinitely for most patients, and the urgency or necessity of a procedure requires that we accommodate patient needs to avoid complications and improve quality of life.”
Six of the seven Upland Hills Health clinics are expected to be open in the next 2 weeks. Upland Hills Health clinics in Dodgeville, Mineral Point, Montfort and Mount Horeb are currently open. Clinics in Barneveld and Spring Green are opening soon.
Physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation services will begin again with new social distancing practices in place. Elective surgeries are being reviewed and rescheduled starting with patients who have been on a waiting list. Medical staff are currently contacting patients whose appointments had been previously postponed.
As more services open up, hospital officials say requirements will stay in place, including visitor restrictions, temperature checks, symptom screening, masking, and social distancing.
Schnedler thanked the community. “Upland Hills Health is grateful to the community for abiding by the Shelter in Place order, giving us the much needed time to prepare to care for COVID-19 patients. We have used these weeks to recreate how we deliver care.
With the help of our residents, the progression of this virus has indeed slowed. It is time for us to thoughtfully and thoroughly prepare to reopen the services our residents need. This is a step-by-step process, as we incorporate measures that will protect patients and staff and ensure we have a sufficient reserve of personal protective equipment, testing kits and supplies to deliver care.”
“This is no time for us to let our guard down," Schnedler advises. “As testing becomes more available, we will monitor the spread of the COVID-19 virus. There may be times when we have to suspend certain services again if the virus spreads more quickly as people begin to resume their lives.
This will be a delicate balance. We ask our residents to continue to practice good infection control, maintain social distancing, wear face covers, wash hands, avoid touching faces, and avoid gatherings where social distancing is not possible.”