This week, Governor Eric Holcomb provided guidance that healthcare facilities can begin reopening services. After careful review of Margaret Mary’s current volume of COVID-19 patients and analysis of our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), we feel it is safe for our patients and staff to begin reopening several of our temporarily suspended services. As a result, effective immediately, Margaret Mary Health will resume joint injections at the Outpatient Clinic, screening colonoscopies, screening mammograms and bone density scans. Beginning Monday, April 27, outpatient elective surgeries will resume. We will assess the status weekly to determine future service re-entry dates, including inpatient surgeries.
“The temporary suspension of many of our procedures, including the screening colonoscopies and mammograms, was necessary as we prepared for a surge in potential COVID-19 patients, but was also concerning for the potential negative impact it can have on the overall health of our community. Early detection equals better prognosis which is why these preventative screenings are so very important. When patients ignore symptoms, this results in a later diagnosis and often a worse outcome. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of coming in for scheduled screenings and appointments now that we’re able to resume these,” noted Surgeon Jon Geers, MD at Margaret Mary Health.
As a result of the consistent decline in patients in our community presenting with COVID-19 symptoms, the last day for appointments at the Acute Care Extension Site at the Batesville Primary School will be Friday, April 24. Beginning April 27, appointments for all ill patients, including those with COVID-19-like symptoms, will be scheduled at the Margaret Mary Orthopaedic and Specialty Center located on State Route 129.
President and CEO of Margaret Mary Health, Tim Putnam added, “I want to thank our community for following the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines. Your efforts have helped to flatten the curve to the point where we feel it is safe to begin reopening the services that many in our community need, and unfortunately have had to postpone since early March. We had a challenging period from the end of March through early April with an influx of high-acuity COVID-19 patients. During that time, we acquired necessary equipment, PPE and supplies, and developed a robust surge plan. Should another wave of this virus enter our community, we feel confident we are prepared to handle it. We will monitor patient volumes closely and continue to phase back in services as long as we continue to see a decreasing number of COVID-19 patients in our service area. If that shifts and begins to rise again, we will adjust accordingly.”
We want to reassure the community the health, well-being and safety of every patient, visitor and team member is our highest priority. During this pandemic we are adhering to the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and taking extra precautions to limit the potential exposure and spread of the virus, including:
- Masking all patients and team members
- Screening all patients and team members for illness as they enter any MMH facility
- Enforcing enhanced visitor restrictions to limit the number of individuals entering the facility
- Extensively cleaning exam rooms and equipment between each patient
- Routinely disinfecting common areas throughout the day
- Adjusting appointment schedules to limit patient-to-patient interaction
- Establishing COVID and Non-COVID care zones to prevent cross contamination
- Providing social distancing visual cues in waiting rooms and registration areas
If you are experiencing symptoms and need guidance on when to seek medical care, please call the MMH COVID-19 Hotline at 812.933.5556. For the latest updates, visit us online at mmhealth.org/covid-19.