Though processes, services and visitation look and feel different, you can be confident that Hamilton Health Care System (HHCS) will continue to provide safe care.
“We are seeing a lot more people coming back into the hospital for screenings, surgeries, and other necessary healthcare,” said Sandy McKenzie, COO. “It’s important to remember that delaying care, whether testing or treatment, could be detrimental to your health, or at least cause extended discomfort in some cases. We’re taking many extra steps to keep you and our associates safe.”
HHCS is following CDC guidelines and has put a number of measures in place to help keep patients and support people safe. When patients arrive at Hamilton Medical Center (HMC), they are greeted by a staff member who take their temperature, screen for COVID-19 symptoms and provide hand sanitizer.
In addition, staff have the same screening procedures in place and wear masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed.
“We’ve seen that masks and other appropriate PPE have been very effective in protecting patients and staff members as well as preventing the spread of the virus,” said Peri Correll, director of Infection Prevention.
Bill Evans recently traveled to HMC from Atlanta to have his total knee joint replacement surgery. “I felt very safe,” he said. “The hospital is the safest place to be. I never once felt uncomfortable.” Evans said that everything went well. “Everyone was super nice. It couldn’t have been a better experience.”
HMC continues to practice social distancing (including decals on floors and furniture) to prevent people from getting within 6 feet of each other. There are additional sanitizing stations throughout the facility, and Xenex germ-zapping robots use high-powered UV light to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses on surfaces. Staggered appointments are used to minimize the number of people in a given area, and patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are kept in a separate, protected area in the hospital.
In addition to HMC, other Hamilton Physician Group and other Hamilton Health Care System locations have added screening, social distancing, additional sanitizing, staggered appointments and face mask requirements for all patients, support people and staff.
“We understand that many people have delayed care during the last few months due to COVID-19,” said McKenzie. “But it’s important to get the healthcare that you need. We are totally committed to providing the safest and highest level of care.”
Phyllis Stephens, the chief operating officer for the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, recently had an endoscopy procedure. “I’m glad I didn’t delay my procedure,” said Stephens. “As a patient, I felt very comfortable and safe when I arrived. The check-in and admittance were quick and my nurse took great care of me as she prepped me for the procedure.”
HHCS is encouraging everyone to continue taking precautions to avoid an increase in infections. “Please continue to take precautions when going out into the community,” McKenzie said. “Avoid crowded areas, wear a mask when in public, wash your hands often and remember to social distance. We all want this virus to be gone. Please be safe.”