Intelligently Ramping Up In-Person Care
SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Sutter physicians are moving into the clinical phase of recovery amid COVID-19, with in-person visits resuming with greater frequency.
While fears over contracting the virus persist, Sutter is working hard to communicate to patients the many safety measures in place so they feel comfortable coming in.
“Thanks to residents who continue to practice physical distancing and other responsible public health practices, we are starting to bring back our patients who deferred time-sensitive or preventative care in March and April,” said Gary McLeod, M.D., president of Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods.
Opening Up, Gradually
California Governor Gavin Newsom said that re-opening the state will not happen all at once.
“There’s no light switch here. It’s more like a dimmer,” he told reporters during an April press conference, where he outlined six indicators, including the ability of hospitals and health systems to handle surges.
Sutter is taking a similar phased approach to reintegrating its operations. According to Bill Isenberg, M.D., Sutter’s Chief Quality and Safety Officer, “We anticipate that full resumption of our operations is likely months away.”
“We are taking a phased approach, not only because we want those patients most in need to be seen first, but also to allow us to continually monitor PPE inventory and testing capability to ensure we can provide care safely and remain prepared for a surge should the number of COVID-19 patients begin to increase again,” Isenberg said.
As patients begin to navigate the new normal of receiving care, it’s important they coordinate closely with their primary care provider to discuss timing and options.
Facilities Going the Extra Mile
Sutter hospitals, outpatient clinics and doctors’ offices are open and have the following safety measures in place:
• Each staff member, patient and visitor are screened
for COVID-19 symptoms
• Temperatures are taken for all staff, patient and visitors at every building entrance
• Visitors are limited
• Masks are required and provided for everyone entering any Sutter building
• Lobbies and waiting areas are modified to support social distancing
• Enhanced cleaning of every exam room between visits
“We are continuing to open up and work through measures to ensure safe patient care, which is especially important for our vulnerable patients with complex health issues like heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. These patients really need to see us,” McLeod said.
“At this time, the public can rest assured that medical care is available and safer than ever.”