Safe Care Message from SeHealth President/CEO Joann Anderson
Today, Governor Cooper announced an extension of the stay at home order until May 8th. He outlined what had to occur for that order to be changed and allow for gradual reopening of NC. I respect his plan and encourage all of us to follow the order by maintaining social distancing, only going out when we need to go, washing our hands frequently and wearing a protective mask in public.
The thing we all have to remember is that even when the restrictions are reduced, COVID -19 is still going to be a threat until a vaccine is available.
What we haven’t heard a lot about are the other healthcare issues that were present before COVID-19. These healthcare needs are still present in our lives. These healthcare issues need care and attention just like they did prior to COVID-19.
Across the country, the healthcare system has seen a sharp decline in visits to doctors offices, emergency room visits and inpatient stays. I am quite certain, COVID-19 did not make these chronic issues and needs disappear. My concern is that the fear of exposure to COVID-19 has caused people to not seek ongoing care for existing chronic conditions.
I want to encourage you to not put off needed care because of that fear. Seek care when needed.
Rest assured, Southeastern Health and all other healthcare providers have worked hard to ensure we can care for everyone in a safe environment. I am not aware of any cases of coronavirus coming from exposure in a healthcare setting in our community. The reported cases that have been identified at the medical center were in people who came to us for diagnosis based on symptoms.
Southeastern Health has put in numerous processes to ensure safety for all. We have introduced telehealth in our clinics, have masks and other protective supplies available for everyone in the system, and introduced drive-thru services for outpatient care at the cancer center, home medical equipment and lab services.
We have processes that limit the number of people in any one location to reduce face-to-face contact and possible exposure. We screen every employee as they enter the facility to work. We are tracking all possible exposures and monitoring or quarantining the individuals based on screening criteria. This is just a small example of things we have done to ensure we are providing care in a safe environment.
If you have healthcare needs, don’t put off getting them addressed. Delaying care in chronic disease could be catastrophic for you. If you need help in identifying the best way to get that care, call us at (910) 671-5000. We will help you safely receive care.
Be safe, follow the guidelines. We will get through this if we all adhere to them.