COVID-19 Update


 


To our patients,

We want to update you on the measures we have taken since the Covid-19 outbreak to keep the patients of Advanced Ob/Gyn healthy and safe during the coronavirus pandemic.


SOCIAL DISTANCING:

Importantly, we encourage our entire community to participate the public health effort to curb community transmission of the novel coronavirus by respecting recommendations about social distancing. We have decided to cancel and reschedule all patient visits that are non-urgent, and not pregnancy related. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding regarding these appointment changes.
We are continuing to see pregnant patients for their scheduled care and ultrasound imaging. We expect to continue to see problem and urgent visits.


OFFICE VISITS:

All patients who will be coming into the office will be pre-screened with questions and a temperature reading. You may be asked to wait in your car or outside if the waiting room exceeds the 10-person maximum. We have reduced the number of patient appointments to prevent this situation.

Please do not bring your children, partner, or other family members to your visit. Again, to protect our healthcare staff, we will only allow patients into the examination rooms. Facetime or speaker phone can be used to include family members in conversations with your doctor or to view parts of ultrasound examinations, as deemed appropriate by the licensed provider.

In addition to the significant schedule reduction, social distancing, and screening being done for all visit, will include:

  • All Healthcare providers are required to wear mask and gloves.
  • Every patient seen in person in the offices is asked to wear a mask from the moment they enter our office until the moment they leave.
  • Check-In window will remain closed, our staff will wear gloves, and items (mask, ID, payment) will be passed through the cracked window. Check out will be by phone.
  • We remove magazines, reading materials, toys and other objects that may be touched by multiple individuals and which are not easily disinfected.
  • We clean and disinfect public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs and bathrooms.


TELEHEALTH:

We have engaged a new platform for “telehealth”. With this technology, we can conduct medical visits by phone or videoconference. This is an excellent option for medication checks, discussion visits, and for follow up visits after labs, imaging, or surgical procedures. We intend to use this option for our short-term postpartum check-ups as well.

If you think that your upcoming appointment is appropriate for this approach, please call the office to reschedule the visit as a telehealth visit. In response to the social distancing recommendations related to this crisis, insurance providers changed their policies to facilitate telehealth access for the patients on their plans. We can help to determine if your insurance supports telehealth services.


IF YOU ARE SICK:

We also want to protect our healthcare staff. Therefore, we ask that if you:

  • Have a known exposure to COVID-19
  • Live with a person who is on quarantine for a suspected case of COVID-19, or known exposure to the virus
  • Have a fever
  • Show any symptoms of viral upper respiratory infection (runny nose, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing)

Please do NOT come to the office without calling us first. We want to consult the Hunterdon Healthcare Coronavirus Command Center, and route at-risk patients to proper care as quickly and safely as possible.


WASHING AND SANITIZING:

By now you have heard it, wash hands frequently and don’t touch your face.

For over 20 years Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology has prioritized hygiene and cleanliness at each location. We have always practiced strict adherence to CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines to prevent spread of infectious disease. We continue to regularly sanitize office spaces, common gathering areas, and exam rooms. Given the current pandemic and recommendations for reducing risk for community spread, we have increased the frequency of our sanitation protocols, limited seating in the waiting rooms, and removed all of the magazines and toys from common spaces.


OUTPATIENT PROCEDURES AT SURGICAL CENTER OR HMC OPERATING ROOM:

Out of respect for shortages of protective equipment, ventilators, and healthy medical staff in our community, and wanting to prioritize those resources for care of the sickest patients, we are postponing all elective surgical procedures.

Your physician will contact you directly if your surgical case must be cancelled and scheduled at a later date. We expect to delay elective surgery for several weeks under present circumstances.


POLICY FOR TRANSFER OF CARE FOR OBSTETRICS PATIENTS DURING CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC:

The following criteria must be met in order for a patient to have one support person present for her delivery with any credentialed provider at Hunterdon Medical Center (HMC). 

  1. The patient must be free from any viral symptoms for at least two weeks prior to establishing care in our community.
  2. The patient must establish care in one of the practices no later than 36 weeks gestation.
  3. Both patient and support person must live continuously in our local area of New Jersey for at least two weeks prior to establishing care. They must not work outside of the home, and must not travel outside this area until delivery. If a patient fails to meet above criteria, she will not be allowed to have a support person while receiving care on Maternity.We can only accept patients who carry healthcare insurance policies with which the practice participates.


VISITOR POLICY FOR MATERNAL NEWBORN CARE CENTER:

  1. ONLY ONE designated support person per patient.
  2. Support person cannot be replaced by another individual.
  3. Patient and support person must be masked before or upon entry to Maternity and stay masked at all times.
  4. The patient and support person will have their temperature checked upon entry to Maternity and every 12 hours throughout the entirety of their stay. If at any time the support person demonstrates signs of COVID-19, a respiratory or viral infection they will be asked to leave the unit and will be unable to return to the hospital.
  5. Support persons who are known to have COVID-19 or who are suspected of having COVID-19, or who demonstrate symptoms or signs of a respiratory or viral infection will not be admitted to the unit.
  6. The patient and support person must remain in their assigned room at all times; they are not to walk in the hallway. If a support person leaves the unit at any time, they will NOT be allowed to return to the unit.
  7. Hunterdon Medical Center will supply meals to the support person. The support person should order food using the same procedure as the patient. They are to eat in the room.
  8. A support person is not allowed to accompany the patient into the triage area, they will remain in the waiting room until the decision to admit or discharge is made.
  9. Security will be called for any support person that violates this visitor policy and escort them out. They will not be allowed re-entry into the hospital.
  10. Hunterdon Medical Center reserves the right to change these policies without notice to provide safe care to our community.

HUNTERDON HEALTHCARE HOTLINE:

Hunterdon Healthcare has created a hotline for the community to call in with questions regarding Coronavirus. The Hunterdon Healthcare COVID-19 Hotline can be reached by calling 908-788-6440. The hotline will be open seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

We will continue to keep you informed of updates and changes to protocol. In the meantime, please make every effort to remain healthy. Our thoughts and prayers are with those people and families directly affected by the virus and with those working to quell its spread.

 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Sincerely,

The Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology Healthcare Team

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