COVID-19 Update: Resuming Time-Sensitive Care

Greetings to our community members, and we hope this message finds you well. As the state continues its re-opening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mid Coast–Parkview Health has also begun resuming time-sensitive provider visits, procedures, and surgeries.

In mid-March, our organization suspended elective procedures and non-urgent office visits in response to the unfolding COVID-19 situation. The first phase of Maine Governor Janet Mills’ reopening plan has allowed healthcare providers to begin to bring back services that were cancelled as part of pandemic response planning. This first phase provides an opportunity to address the needs of those patients for whom waiting could negatively impact their health and wellbeing.

We are confident that we can provide this care safely again, and we know that our patients will benefit from it greatly. Patients whose procedures or appointments were postponed due to COVID-19 will be contacted soon to confirm or re-schedule. The current focus is on caring for patients whose pending procedures and office visits were postponed, but for whom waiting longer at this time could put their health at risk in the long term.

Please also know that our facilities are taking several measures to ensure the highest level of safety for patients and staff. For instance, all Mid Coast–Parkview Health employees are screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms before being cleared to work, and all patients are screened before entering the hospital or any of our facilities.

Other safety measures our organization is taking include:

  • Providing all patients, visitors, and team members with a surgical mask before entering any Mid Coast–Parkview Health facility
  • Providing hand sanitizer and ensuring good hand hygiene
  • Utilizing social distancing practices in waiting areas when possible
  • Obtaining verbal consent from patients during registration

Additionally, our organization continues to prohibit visitors in all facilities and has enhanced our already stringent cleaning protocols to include sanitizing common areas and high-touch items more frequently.

If a patient prefers to meet with a provider in the comfort of their own home, Mid Coast Medical Group primary and specialty care practices offer the option of telehealth visits via videoconferencing. Telehealth allows providers and patients to interact on the telephone or face-to-face via a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Patients can use the visit to talk about medical concerns or symptoms, get a prescription, receive a diagnosis, and more. If the provider feels that the patient needs to be evaluated in person, he or she will refer the individual to the appropriate setting.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind the community that our laboratory service centers at the Parkview Campus, Mid Coast Medical Group–Topsham Internal Medicine, and Mid Coast Medical Group–Bath Internal Medicine are available for non-respiratory ill patients, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. All sites offer online check-in ahead of time to avoid extended wait times, and all of the safety measures listed above also apply to laboratory visits.

Additionally, please remember that while the state has begun re-opening measures, it continues to mandate physical distancing. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. All Mainers are also required to wear cloth face coverings in public spaces where physical distancing is difficult, such as grocery stores or pharmacies. All of these measures are for our safety, and they are already making a difference!

All updates on our COVID-19 response are available at www.midcoasthealth.com/covid19. Thank you for your continued support in caring for the health of our community, and have a wonderful week.