The Transylvania Times -

Mission Health Plans To Begin Phasing Back Certain Services, Procedures


Last updated 4/27/2020 at 8:22pm

Within the next several days Mission Health plans to begin phasing back in certain services and procedures that were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

To date, Mission Health has not seen the surge of COVID-19 patients initially anticipated when the pandemic first began to spread across the country. There have been just over 20 inpatients with COVID-19 throughout the entire health system as of late April.

“Thankfully the sacrifices we have all made to flatten the curve have helped to slow the spread of the virus. This gives us hope as we plan to restart services that we temporarily suspended in March as part of our initial response to COVID-19. Both clinical and operational changes are required to ensure the safety and security of our patients and employees and we’re committed to getting this right,” said Greg Lowe, President HCA Healthcare NC Division/Mission Health.

According to a press release, Mission said that it understands that many of its patients have forgone important procedures like cancer therapies and joint replacements due to the pandemic, and Mission are developing a cautious, comprehensive strategy to allow for the safe return of these patients to its facilities. As Mission begins this transition, the health and safety of patients and colleagues remain its top priority, the release said.

Mission expects to begin a return of services in phases, within the next week to 10 days. In the first phase, Mission will work to resume procedures that were deferred or canceled during the initial COVID-19 response time. When that decision to proceed with services is made, it will not be a switch, but a dial—enabling Mission to stay attune to necessary calibrations as it moves forward, the release said.

William R. Hathaway, chief medical officer with Mission Health, noted, “Consistent with Gov. Cooper and DHHS Secretary Cohen’s guidance Friday, we are carefully planning and undertaking a phased approach to begin care that focuses on the most critical and timely patients who have been waiting while we prioritized our services for COVID-19 patients.”

Safeguards have been implemented across the system, such as universal masking and screening of all patients, visitors and employees, to reassure patients and team members who may have more concerns about coming to a healthcare facility than they did in the past.

As another aspect of this approach, Mission is working with physicians to understand what they will need to resume more normal operations in their practices to include social distancing and proper screening of patients as well.


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