|Letter to our Community
Subject: WMMC Relaunching Healthcare Services, May 4, 2020
Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) is committed to patient safety and providing quality medical care. As Missouri begins to reopen under Governor Parson’s “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan, we are prepared to reopen outpatient surgeries and resume some essential in-clinic visits starting on Monday, May 4, 2020. This unprecedented time has forced our organization to be agile and innovative in order to maintain our commitment to patients. In fact, we have been at the forefront of COVID-19 as we were the second hospital in Missouri to open a COVID-19 testing and evaluation site and took immediate actions to reduce the spread of the virus.
We thank you for your commitment to the health of our county by staying home to reduce the spread. Your efforts have flattened the curve and slowed the spread of COVID-19 allowing our health system to care for patients without straining our resources. With that said, we recognize that our lives must continue and many patients have postponed their care.
As we “reopen” our hospital, we will do so in a phased approach:
· Elective Outpatient Surgeries: Starting Monday, May 4.
· Elective Inpatient Surgeries: Starting Monday, May 18 (contingent on COVID-19 cases in our county and the ability to meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidelines).
· Elective Screenings, such as Colonoscopies and Mammograms: Starting May 18.
· Clinic Visits: Clinics will expand in-person office visits as needed.
· Virtual Visits: Virtual visits will continue to be available and are the preferred method of care.
· Expanding COVID-19 Testing: Starting Monday, May 4 we will allow patients who are showing no symptoms to be tested at our Evaluation and Testing Site.
· CoV-2 IgG Antibody Testing: Available to our community starting Monday, May 4. To obtain an order for the testing, you must be seen by your primary care provider. Your provider will do a screening to ensure you are not showing COVID-19 symptoms and have been symptom free for 14 days. If you do not have a primary care provider and would like to receive antibody testing, please call WMMC’s Temporary COVID-19 Hotline at (660) 262-7580. Additional details will be announced this week at WMMC.com.
Receiving Safe Care:
Your safety is our top priority. We take our processes very seriously, so that you can be safe when receiving care.
Here’s just a few of the initiatives we have launched at WMMC to ensure your safety:
· Co-horting patients and staff by separating potential and confirmed COVID patients from the normal population while also separating the staff that care for those patients
· Screening stations for anyone entering our health system
· Extensive personal protection guidelines requiring anyone in our facility to wear a mask
· Limited entrance and no waiting rooms
· Maintain a limited visitor policy
· Maintain social distancing when not necessary for patient care
· Screening surgery patients for COVID-19 and requiring testing prior to being cleared for elective surgery
I am proud of WMMC’s proactive stance with these initiatives. As a result, our employee percentage of positive cases is significantly lower than county and state percentages, and we have not had any patient to staff or staff to patient transmissions. WMMC will continue to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the American Board of Surgery to implement extensive protocols while returning to surgery.
While some restrictions are lifted, we will continue to monitor cases before we can fully reopen all services. As a reminder, you are our greatest resource at combating COVID-19.
It is still crucial that you continue to practice the protocols set in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
· Wear a mask in public, especially if you feel sick
· Practice social distancing
· Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
· Do not touch your face
· Stay home if you are sick
To learn about our COVID processes, care at Western Missouri Medical Center or how to help your county hospital please visit WMMC.com.
I for one, have never been more proud to work in healthcare or of our county’s ability to come together to help one another. I’m proud to serve WMMC and Johnson County. Again, thank you for working together to ensure the health of our greater community. We are #StrongerTogether.
Darinda J. Dick, President/CEO