WEST READING, PA — Over the next several weeks, Tower Health will implement a phased rollout to resume the provision of medically necessary and time-sensitive procedures, tests, and office visits. This coordinated approach – developed with guidance from medical, nursing, and administrative staff-has been carefully designed to keep Tower Health employees, patients, and communities safe.
The phased reopening approach will be implemented in the following order:
- Scheduled in-person care appointments that are medically necessary and time-sensitive.
- Surgeries that are medically necessary and time-sensitive.
- Medically necessary and time-sensitive procedures for patients with the most pressing clinical needs.
Tower Health will continue to utilize our enhanced and innovative telemedicine capabilities, where appropriate, to care for patients in the safest way possible. Tower Health will also continue to follow the guidance of state and county health officials on a county-by-county basis. Since our hospitals are located across several Pennsylvania counties, specific actions may vary for each Tower Health hospital.
In our hospitals, physician offices, urgent care centers, and all other clinical areas Tower Health has implemented rigorous cleaning processes and procedures that meet or exceed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) policies. These include:
- Telehealth and virtual visits: Telehealth and virtual visits will be used to reduce in-person visits at our physician offices and urgent care centers, providing convenient care in the comfort and safety of the patient’s home.
- COVID-19 Screenings for caregivers and patients: All healthcare providers will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to the start of each shift. All patients will be screened for COVID-19 prior to their surgery, procedure, or office visit. If symptoms are present, the encounter will be canceled, and the patient will be referred to their primary care physician or Urgent Care facility for follow-up.
- Robotic ultraviolet light disinfection: Tower Health Hospitals are among only a few in the region using this process designed specifically for hospitals. The robot delivers a fast, continuous dose of ultraviolet energy killing germs and pathogens from floor to ceiling. This process uniquely positions our hospitals to provide one of the safest environments possible.
- Restricting visitors: Visitor restrictions and screenings at all hospital entrances will continue.
- Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols:
- Outpatient facilities, physician offices, and other public areas undergo rigorous cleaning and disinfecting several times per day, in accordance with CDC and DOH infection control guidelines.
- Operating rooms will be thoroughly cleaned after each case. Air exchanges will be continuously monitored during surgical procedures.
- Face masks at all facilities and the appropriate personal protective equipment for all staff. Patients will also be required to wear face masks in all facilities.
- Enhanced social distancing: Physical distancing will be maximized in waiting rooms and patient care areas. In addition, surgery times will be staggered to ensure social distancing.
“We look forward to welcoming the community back to our facilities in a very coordinated approach,” said Clint Mathews, Tower Health President and CEO. “Tower Health facilities are clean and safe and prepared to provide life-saving treatment. Our teams remain committed to providing high-quality care while following the recommendations of the CDC and DOH to ensure patient safety.”
Individuals with specific questions should contact their physician or Advance Practice Practitioner to determine the best options, including telehealth services or Tower Health Urgent Care for non-emergency care. Individuals experiencing chest pain, stroke symptoms, or having a medical emergency, should call 911 immediately.
Click here for additional information about Tower Health’s response to COVID-19.
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