Courtesy of NWI Life
Written by Stacey Kellogg
Over the last couple of months, many people have had to put off routine health exams or procedures so hospitals and outpatient centers could focus on providing care during the pandemic. Methodist Hospitals has successfully secured and adapted the necessary equipment, processes, and staff to care for any surges that may occur due to COVID-19, and they are ready to offer elective services again to their patients with one clear message: Visiting Methodist Hospitals is even safer than before.
“Methodist Hospitals has always practiced stringent precautions and made safety a top priority for patients, visitors, and staff. Since the onset of the pandemic, our physicians, nurses, and staff have embraced even more aggressive policies and procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at every Methodist Hospitals facility throughout Northwest Indiana,” said Matthew Doyle, Interim President and CEO of the health system.
As the hospital now resumes elective and non-emergency treatments and procedures, they’ve adapted processes to accommodate patient and staff safety. This includes services such as behavioral health; breast cancer screening, diagnostics, and treatment; cardiac catheterization procedures; diagnostic testing (such as X-ray, lab, CT, MRI, ultrasound, and others); elective surgical procedures such as joint replacements; and endoscopy procedures such as colonoscopies; maternal and infant care; neurology care; cancer care; outpatient rehabilitation (such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy); wellness visits; and wound care.
“Of course, patients should act according to their own personal comfort level when considering elective procedures or surgeries, but we want to assure those we serve that Methodist Hospitals has the necessary protocols in place to mitigate risk,” Doyle said. “We also want to remind the community not to put off important health screenings that may have been delayed due to the pandemic. Mammography, colonoscopy, and other screenings recommended by your primary care provider can save lives, and Methodist Hospitals is here to provide those services safely.”
Smart scheduling and social distancing
One of the first things patients will notice is a change in scheduling their procedures or tests at Methodist Northlake and Southlake campuses and diagnostic centers. New scheduling procedures are designed to create the ideal experience, with fewer people in waiting areas and reduced wait times. At physician offices, patients will be taken directly to exam rooms to be registered – there will be no waiting in the reception rooms.
One of the great advantages of advanced technology is that healthcare providers can now conduct health visits via phone and video, making an accurate diagnosis for a variety of conditions and providing treatment options from a distance. Methodist Hospitals now offer immediate and urgent care TeleHealth services and Methodist Physician Group is offering TeleHealth services, too. For information, visit https://www.methodisthospitals.org/clinical_services/carefirst-2/.
Accessing Methodist Hospitals facilities
Everyone entering Methodist Hospitals facilities is screened for symptoms and visitor restrictions will continue as needed. For updates on who is allowed to visit, please visit https://www.methodisthospitals.org/about_methodist/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-update/current-visitor-restrictions/.
Dedicated patient units
Anyone hospitalized at Methodist Hospitals who is being treated for COVID-19 is receiving treatment on dedicated inpatient units, reserved solely for that condition. This is to create additional distance and physical barriers from other patients and staff.
Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
Methodist Hospitals is following the latest Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines around masks and PPE.
Methodist Hospitals dedicated environmental services staff – and all staff for that matters – are practicing aggressive cleaning protocols throughout facilities.
Patients who visit Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus for their procedures or care can eliminate another stop to the pharmacy and have their prescriptions filled at the Methodist Hospitals Outpatient Pharmacy. Details can be found here: https://www.methodisthospitals.org/clinical_services/northlake-outpatient-pharmacy/.
For more information about the services provided at Methodist Hospitals, and for the latest updates on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.methodisthospitals.org/.