MINT HILL, NC – On Monday, May 4, Novant Health facilities statewide resumed non-time sensitive and non-emergent surgical procedures. Additionally, Novant Health clinics have begun reinstating appointments for routine care that had been delayed such as pediatric well checks, chronic care visits and acute care visits.
In accordance with guidelines from the US Surgeon General and the American College of Surgeons, Novant Health joined other health providers across the state in rescheduling non-essential surgeries, procedures and appointments effective March 18.
“Back in March when we started to see the increase and spike in cases for our region for the COVID virus, we certainly wanted to reduce exposure to patients that didn’t have the virus,” says Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Brooks. “By decreasing the amount of people coming into either physical practices or into acute care facilities, you would reduce the number of people that were exposed to either carriers or people with the active virus.”
Novant Health announced last week that their facilities would resume non-time sensitive and non-emergent surgeries as of Monday, May 4. “All of those cases we had paused on, we really needed to get back to taking care of those patients,” says Brooks. “We had our safety precautions in place, we had our education in place for our teams, universal masking – we were ready to introduce those other patients back into the facility.”
Novant plans to continue to offer virtual care options to patients. “Virtual care is never a negative,” assures Brooks. “If you start there because you’re unsure, the physician can always refer you into the Emergency Department, a GoHealth, an Urgent Care to actually lay hands on and be seen.”
We’ve all seen a lot of frightening news coverage about the dire situation many hospitals across the nation find themselves in as they continue to struggle with a shortage of beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment. The situation at Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center has, thankfully, been far more calm.
“Well over three or four hundred patients have been tested in this facility, and 39 have come back positive,” says Brooks. “Some of those were discharged from the ED and received a call about self quarantining, and then some of those were inpatients that received a positive and were transferred uptown to Presbyterian Medical Center.”
“We want you to see your physicians,” concludes Brooks. “We want you to have your procedures done. We want you to be healthy. It’s all about following the precautions: washing your hands, wearing your mask, being mindful of what you’re touching and the environments that you present yourself to. But absolutely, we want you to be safe, we want you to be healthy, and we’re here and ready to take care of you.”
After seven or more weeks of social distancing, staying home has become our new normal. Many people continue to be understandably wary of leaving their homes, but waiting to be seen or avoiding the hospital can be deadly, particularly for those with heart attack, stroke, cancer or diabetes symptoms. If you are concerned about your health, please get seen as soon as possible.