Safe Destination for Appointments
During these uncertain times, Pardee UNC Health Care is committed to caring for our community. We remain focused on delivering the care you need and expect from your community hospital. Whatever the occasion, we will rise to meet it. Postponing nonessential appointments and elective surgeries in March and April provided us with the time needed to increase our COVID-19 preparedness and capabilities. We've shored up supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), acquired critical medical equipment, and introduced new safety precautions - all in an effort to prepare for a surge that our community thankfully, has not yet experienced. Our preparedness efforts have paid off. Our hospital, specialty and primary care practices, and urgent care facilities are all ready to meet the needs of today - and tomorrow. We closely follow and adhere to federal, state and local public health guidance. Our daily review and monitoring of PPE supply, ventilator and ICU usage, and hospitalization rates tell us that we can safely care for your health care needs.
Many of you had to postpone a surgery or procedure. And the term “elective” doesn’t accurately reflect a surgery needed to relieve pain, assist in mobility or resolve a health issue. We believe you’ve waited long enough. To assure the safest environment for patients and staff, we are scheduling surgeries with stringent precautions. Before a patient is allowed to have their surgery at Pardee, they must meet certain criteria. Elective surgery patients must consent to a COVID-19 test and have a negative result. The tests are administered several days before the operation and patients are required to self-isolate until the day of their procedure. Patients must also sign a contract about their post-acute care discharge plan, with the goal being to discharge all surgery patients to their homes. Our Care Management team is working with patients to map out postoperative care at home, either with home health or physical therapy in order to avoid a stay at a skilled nursing facility or within ICU. Our surgeons shall have a reasonable expectation that their potential surgery patient will not require an ICU stay or be discharged to a skilled nursing facility. If patients do not meet these criteria, they will not proceed with surgery.
Chronic Disease Management
Postponing treatment if you have a serious injury or illness, or a chronic condition that needs attention, can result in long term negative outcomes - in some cases, death. We are welcoming back our patients into our offices when it is required, and offering more phone and video visits through our telehealth program when it is not. Learn more here about virtual visits.(hyperlink here) For your in-person visit, we’ve taken steps to make sure that you are safe and we will continue to review and update these measures, depending on CDC guidance and direction from our public health partners. These measures include reducing in-person visits to ensure fewer patients come to our facilities. We’re scheduling additional time between appointments to limit contact with other patients and to increase cleaning between visits. In addition to more frequent deep cleaning of our facilities, we’re modifying the layout of our waiting rooms to support physical distancing. We also want to limit time in the waiting rooms, and in some cases encourage our patients to remain in their car until we’re ready to begin your appointment.
What to expect when you arrive
Pardee UNC Health Care requires all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering or mask while on our campuses to guard against COVID-19 transmission. Masks lower the risk of spreading or catching the coronavirus through coughs and sneezes. Together with hand washing and physical distancing, these are the most important things we can all do to reduce the spread of COVID-19. View the CDC face mask recommendations.
Specific procedures vary by location, but patients coming to a Pardee UNC Health Care facility for an appointment should expect:
- Wellness screening – Prior to coming in you’ll be asked a series of questions to make sure an in-person visit is still safe and appropriate. This could happen more than once - by phone when confirming or scheduling an appointment and once again at the appointment.
- Temperature checks – You may be asked if you’re running a temperature or have your temperature taken before entering a Pardee UNC Health Care facility. This is as an added precaution to ensure your safety and that of our staff and healthcare providers
- Masks – Everyone entering a Pardee UNC Health Care facility will be expected to wear a face mask, which must be worn securely during the visit.
- A change in provider appearance – Your provider may be wearing more protective gear than you’re used to seeing – including a mask, gown and gloves. This is an important measure in keeping you and your health care team safe.
Pardee COVID-19 Help Line
If you’re unsure of what to do, we can help. The Pardee COVID-19 Help Line (828-694-8048), in place since March 15, is a reliable resource staffed with nurses that will screen your symptoms over the phone and direct you to the appropriate location or service. If you experience a fever over 100 degrees, extreme shortness of breath, or any life-threating symptoms, visit your nearest Emergency Department immediately.