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FAQs for Ambulatory Patients: Getting Safe Care at Nuvance Health
Safety measures, such as social distancing, have helped slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. As a result, our hospitals and communities are observing a decrease in the rate of new COVID-19 infections. We can safely resume more procedures, surgeries, and routine healthcare for our patients, following state and federal government guidelines.
We understand you may be concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19 as you return to our hospitals and medical offices. Rest assured — safe care is our top priority, now and always. We have many safeguards in place at all Nuvance Health locations so you can feel confident and at ease when you visit us.
Included here are positive changes you can expect during your next visit to a Nuvance Health ambulatory location including dental clinics, imaging services, infusion therapy, occupational/physical/speech therapy, outpatient diagnostic cardiology services, outpatient electroencephalogram (EEG) services, lab draw stations, pulmonary/cardiac rehab, sleep services, and wound care.
What precautions are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
Patients will be pre-screened for COVID-19 risk factors over the phone before scheduled appointments. All patients and staff will also be screened before entering any Nuvance Health facility, including walk-in patients for imaging such as x-rays. All procedural and surgical patients will require a COVID-19 test before their procedure or surgery. Any COVID-19 patients in the hospital will be treated in a separate area.
- Check-In/Out Processes: Fewer appointments at a time will be scheduled to limit the number of patients in our facilities. Pre-registration and follow-up appointments will be done by phone. Depending on the location, patients may be asked to wait in their vehicles until their appointment begins.
- Social Distancing: Markings on the floor for where to stand and directional flow in hallways, and redesigned seating in waiting areas will be used to maintain appropriate social distancing whenever possible (six feet apart from each other).
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Face masks will be worn at all times by patients, approved visitors, and staff. Clinical staff may also wear additional PPE including face shields, head coverings, gloves, or surgical gowns.
- Cleaning Protocols: Stringent cleaning and disinfecting of our facilities will take place throughout the day with a deep clean daily. Hand hygiene stations will be available throughout the facilities.
What can I expect during my in-person visit?
The Nuvance Health location you’re visiting will let you know if you should stay in your vehicle and contact the office when you arrive for your appointment. Please put a mask on before entering the facility, and review the instructional signs that will be displayed to help you during your visit. Please also stand on the floor markings so everyone can stay six feet apart whenever possible.
You’ll be screened for risk factors of COVID-19. If you have risk factors, your appointment may be rescheduled for a future date, or changed to a Virtual Visit depending on the type of appointment. Exceptions apply for patients who need urgent care.
Our clinical staff will make every effort to remain an appropriate distance from you during your appointment. Only testing that’s essential to the reason for your visit will be performed. Clinical staff will perform testing in the most efficient way possible to limit the amount of time they are in close contact with you.
When can I have an in-person visit at an ambulatory location if I had or have COVID-19?
Patients who were not hospitalized for COVID-19 can come to an ambulatory location 14 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms if they’re no longer experiencing symptoms. For patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19, 30 days of home-isolation is required after they are discharged from the hospital. Patients who were exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 can come to an ambulatory location 14 days after exposure if they’re not experiencing symptoms. A negative COVID-19 test is not required for these patients before an in-person visit. In addition to this criteria, patients must pass screenings for COVID-19 risk factors before they have an in-person visit.
Patients with active COVID-19 or who are in the recovery phase can still be seen in-person when it’s urgent and care can’t safely be delayed. Strict safety and infection prevention precautions will be taken to ensure a safe environment for all patients and staff.
How can I reschedule care that was postponed due to COVID-19?
Depending on the type of appointment, you will either be contacted by the Nuvance Health scheduling team or your doctor’s office to reschedule appointments, treatments, procedures, or surgeries that were postponed due to COVID-19. We’re here for all of your healthcare needs, so you can also call us to schedule an appointment for routine care.
Can anyone come with me for my appointment?
To ensure a healthy and safe environment for patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re continuing to limit visitors at all Nuvance Health locations. Patients with outpatient appointments may be allowed a support person if the patient’s clinical care team determines they’re essential to the care of the patient or medically necessary. These circumstances may include patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, patients with cognitive impairments, or patients requiring communication or mobility support. All support persons must pass screenings for COVID-19 risk factors before they will be approved to accompany the patient at their appointment.
COVID-19 has changed how we live, learn, and work. At Nuvance Health, safety is our priority, and we have reimagined how we deliver care with your safety in mind. For more information, please visit nuvancehealth.org/safecare.