Augusta Health will reopen its elective outpatient services such as imaging, diagnostic procedures and imaging and all non-emergency surgeries three phases, as proposed by our Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) after careful study and reflection on the recommendations and guidance provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and other specialty agencies.
In order to protect patients and staff in the event of Covid-19 Surge, Augusta Health's Incident Command Center will monitor many internal indicators to assess and ensure its capacity to see patients in a safe environment. The Command Center will track the number of tests and the number of positive cases at Augusta Health and in the SAW community. They will also monitor the number of patients seen at the Augusta Health Assessment Center in Waynesboro, and the number of calls to the COVID Care Call Center.
These factors are all indicators used to assess prevalence of Covid-19 in the hospital. Should Covid-19 increase, the hospital will adjust the number and types of procedures to be performed.
For more information, please read Reopening for Outpatient Services at Augusta Health
Procedures that do not require testing, additional PPE, sedation or intubation—began on Wednesday, May 6.
- Diagnostic Radiology has opened up screening exams such as LDCT lung cancer screening, screening mammograms, and non-emergency diagnostics like x-rays, CTs, MRIs, ultrasound and nuclear medicine exams.
- Diagnostic Cardiology has reopened Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab, echocardiograms, vascular ultrasound, cardiac stress tests, and the Device Clinic. They are contacting patients who had procedures postponed.
- Augusta Medical Group: Practices have been scheduling patients when they can safely be seen, and encourage patients to call their provider if they have questions or concerns.
- The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders: The Center has resumed routine follow-up visits that had been deferred.
- The Skilled Nursing Floor, Inpatient Rehab Floor and Pain Clinic: Will reopen and begin procedures.
For Phase I to be successful, procedures and visits will be safely resumed, supply and staffing levels will be maintained, and a low prevalence of COVID in the community and hospital will be sustained. When these criteria are all maintained, Augusta Health will move to Phase II.
Procedures that require pre-procedure testing of the patient for COVID-19. The testing protocol will include quarantine prior to surgery.
- The procedures include Outpatient Surgery, Endoscopy, Cath Lab, Sleep Lab, and Inpatient and Outpatient Invasive Radiology Procedures.
For Phase II to be successful, procedures and surgeries will be safely resumed, supply and staffing levels will be maintained, a low prevalence of COVID in the community will be sustained, an adequate stock of PPE will exist and inpatient beds will be available. When these criteria are all maintained, Augusta Health will begin Phase III.
Phase III will include Inpatient Surgeries. These procedures will all require pre-procedure testing of the patient for COVID-19. The testing protocol will include quarantine prior to surgery.
Projections are that the phased approach could take four to six weeks to complete, depending upon the monitoring of the indicators and criteria.
Social distancing in both Augusta Health and the community are keys to keeping the indicators strong and continuing to meet the criteria for advancing the phases. It's important for everyone to help keep those who have been waiting for healthcare to avoid exposure to COVID-19 and cause further delays. Keep patients—and each other—safe and healthy!
Please Wear a Face Mask
We are asking all visitors to Augusta Health facilities to wear masks. The CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and Augusta Health all recommend that everyone wear a cloth face mask in the community when out in public. If you will be coming to an Augusta Health facility and have your own clean and laundered mask, please wear it to your appointment. This will help us preserve the mask supply.
- Please review Masking Guidance for Patients and Visitors
- For more information about cloth face masks, visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/cloth-face-covers/
- If you'd like to make your own mask, there are patterns (sew and no-sew) here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
Keeping you safe
- All hospital staff are screened and have their temperature taken, at the start of each shift. If they are ill, they can't work.
- All patients are screened. If they have a respiratory illness, they are placed in the ED/COVID unit in a negative pressure room.
- We have a universal masking policy of both patient and provider to help stop the spread of COVID.
- Visitors are restricted
- Patient-family liaisons have been established to keep everyone connected during treatment and possible admission.
- We have thorough protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all rooms, surfaces, and equipment.