Dear Valued Patient,
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Parkway General Surgeons wants to assure our patients and the community that we are committed to maintaining a safe environment for patients, their families and visitors. Our team is working closely with state and local health authorities to ensure measures are in place for preventing community spread of the infection.
As part of our commitment to help protect the welfare of our patients, employees, and the community, we wanted to share with you that, in addition to the infection control standards we have in place every day, we have recently implemented additional measures to provide patient safety within our clinic and surgery center.
Since COVID-19 was discovered in our community, we have implemented the use of telehealth services to allow patients to receive care from their homes when appropriate. In the future, we will continue to offer telehealth appointments for patients when appropriate. For more information on what visits are appropriate for telehealth services, please contact the Practice Manager at 360-733-0070.
For those patients whose care is best served by an in-person visit, we want to share with you the many new safety measures we have put in place for your protection. These new safety measures include:
Mask use for staff, patients and visitors
All staff, patients and visitors in our clinic and surgery center must wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 transmission. For patients and visitors, these can be cloth face covers or personal masks. We will provide masks to patients and visitors who arrive without their own masks.
Physical distancing of patients
We are reconfiguring our patient flow wherever possible to optimize and maintain social distancing precautions. Clinic patients will be taken directly into the exam room upon check-in to avoid waiting in a shared space. Surgical patients are being admitted directly to the surgery center through a separate entrance to place them directly where they need to be with minimal exposure.
Mandatory screening of staff
All Parkway employees are required to sign in each day at the start of their shift with a temperature check and symptom screening. Each employee must verify they do not have a fever or symptoms of any respiratory illness. Those employees who have symptoms of a respiratory illness or fever are required to stay home. All employees also have quick access to COVID-19 testing if they have symptoms of the disease.
Proactive testing prior to surgery
All Parkway Surgical Center patients are tested for COVID-19 prior to having a surgical procedure. If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, and if surgery can be safely delayed, it will be postponed until the patient has fully recovered.
Out of an abundance of caution, we, in collaboration with other health systems, now have visitor restrictions to help control the spread of germs and to protect the health of our patients, their loved ones and our staff. With certain exceptions, only one visitor/escort is allowed per patient. Visitor restrictions will be in effect until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community. Visitors with COVID-19 symptoms are asked to not to enter our clinic or surgery center.
Hand hygiene and CDC recommendations
Creating a safe environment for our patients begins with hand hygiene. Our providers and staff will continue to wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before they care for you. We will continue to be adhere to CDC recommendations to avoid personal facial contact.
Ongoing efforts to ensure the highest level of safety
We continue to learn about COVID-19 and adapt our care practices and infection prevention programs to reflect the latest recommendations and are also work very closely to assure your safety with our partners at Public Health – Whatcom County and Washington State Department of Health.
During this pandemic, feeling sick can be scary for everyone. To help prevent the spread of infection, call (360) 733-0070 before coming into our clinic or surgery center, if you currently are:
- Ill with Cough; and/or
- Experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; and/or
- Having at least two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Or have traveled to an area where COVID-19 is prevalent or
- Have interacted with anyone confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
All patients and visitors will be screened with the above questions and a temperature check upon arrival.
Everyone can play a role in keeping our community safe:
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if your hands are not visibly soiled.
- Use a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing to cover your mouth and nose.
- Stay home if you are feeling ill.
For general concerns and questions about COVID-19, please call the Washington State Department of Health call center at (800) 525-0127 and press # to learn what is happening in Washington state.
Be safe, be well and know that we are here to serve your needs in the best capacity possible. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns that we can address together.