PLATTSBURGH - Patients can expect some changes as the University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) continues to safely restore the services and programs curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to be part of the community-wide effort to keep the COVID-19 curve as flat as possible. As we gradually reopen, we’re implementing changes that allow us to provide the services the community wants and needs while keeping our patients and staff safe,” CVPH President Michelle LeBeau said in a news release.
In early May, CVPH was given the go ahead by the New York State Department of Health to begin elective outpatient surgeries and the elective procedures took place May 18.
Since that time, a number of changes have been made that impact the way care is delivered but are necessary to protect the safety of patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, the release said.
Laboratory tests and EKGs at the Diagnostic Center, Main Campus Patient Registration and Valcour Imaging are now offered only by appointment to help reduce waiting times and support social distancing.
Those with physician orders should call (518) 562-7340 to schedule an appointment and complete the advance registration process. Some same day appointments may be available but are not guaranteed.
Walk in service for X-rays at all locations continues and other imaging services such as MRI, CT scans, Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine require an appointment which can be made by calling (518) 562-7340.
“Patients will also find that our waiting rooms have fewer seats and some may even be closed. We’ve also placed markers on the floor to help remind our guests about social distancing,” LeBeau said.
During the scheduling and pre-registration processes, patients will be asked additional health questions. And, everyone who comes to a CVPH facility will be asked those same questions in addition to having a temperature taken.
Access to the main facility remains limited to the Main Lobby (open 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the MRI Entrance (next to the Emergency Department and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), FitzPatrick Cancer Center (open Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and the 206 Cornelia St. Medical Office Building (open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The NYSDOH hospital visitation restrictions continue.
Masks are now required to be worn by everyone who comes to the hospital because, according to Vice President of Population Health and Information Services Dr. Wouter Rietsema, “masking, combined with social distancing continues to be the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus.”
New York state requires that patients scheduled for surgeries or other procedures be tested for COVID-19 72 hours in advance of their procedure.
“Your physician will arrange the testing and we are asking that patients self-quarantine between the time they are tested and the day of their procedure as an added precaution,” LeBeau said.
The CVPH Environmental Services team continues their efforts to keep the facilities clean and are paying extra attention to common areas like check-in desks, waiting rooms, door knobs and faucets, the release said.
Included in the plans to reopen is a concerted effort to address the backlog of diagnostic procedures that were scheduled prior to the March NYSDOH directive to cancel all non-essential services and programs. Working with the ordering physician, the procedures are being prioritized and patients are being contacted by their physicians to reschedule.
“It’s important that we thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we work through these new processes and procedures," LeBeau said.
"Equally important is a reminder to seek medical care when you need it. We have expanded options to provide that care including video, telephone and in person visits. Your health is too important to delay getting the care you need.”
For up-to-date information about CVPH services, head to UVMHealth.org/CVPH.