Mission Health has begun to thoughtfully re-introduce certain procedures and surgeries at its facilities across Western North Carolina as it continues to monitor the dynamic shifts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These procedures have been classified within tiers of urgency and acuity, allowing us to prioritize services as we take a measured approach to this transition,” said William R. Hathaway, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Mission Health. “Our patients will see continued – and in some cases enhanced – screening, testing, masking and patient flow procedures, as well as infection prevention protocols in facilities.”

Most Mission Health hospitals will be resuming surgeries and procedures beginning Monday, May 4. On Tuesday, May 5, Mission Hospital in Asheville plans to reopen its Entrance 2 surgical waiting area in the North Tower for scheduled patients. All Mission Health facilities will be providing patients with specific instructions about where to arrive and what to expect.

Patients arriving for these procedures will be allowed to have one adult accompany them into the waiting area. All patients and their escorts will be screened and provided masks upon entry. The escorts will be able to assist patients in the waiting area and, if discharged the same day, will be with them at discharge as well. The escorts will have the option to wait outside the facility if they prefer, and will be called with updates when the procedure is complete. Each hospital may establish specific additional logistics for the escorts and will communicate that to them upon arrival.

Mission Health is maintaining its Level 3 visitor limitations for now. This means that if a patient is admitted to the hospital following a procedure, visitors will not be allowed at this time (other than for pediatric or labor and delivery patients), as the heightened infection prevention policies continue.

Mission Health continues to have sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for patients, visitors, clinicians, caregivers and staff, and its supply chain continually works with epidemiologists and data scientists to track usage and demand so we can allocate PPE appropriately.

“We’re committed to a safe and individualized care experience for all our patients,” Dr. Hathaway said. “Our dedicated team of caretakers is working diligently to ensure the best experience possible, now and every day.”

For more information, please visit missionhealth.org or @MissionHealthNC.

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