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Mercy Hospital highlights actions for phased reopening of services

Date: 04/30/2020

Following the announcement by Governor Janet Mills that Maine will take a phased approach to reopening certain business operations tomorrow, Northern Light Mercy Hospital is joining other Northern Light Health facilities across the state in taking steps to prepare for the phased launch of critical services delayed by COVID-19.
 
“While our commitment to providing the safest care possible has not changed during this pandemic, we have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff,” said Dr. Michael Duffy, senior physician executive at Mercy Hospital. “During this time, we worked to meet the urgent needs of our patients and stayed connected with them through a successful launch of telehealth services. New tools like telehealth are not going away and will continue to play an important role, and we look forward to providing more patients the critical health care services they need.”
 
Additionally, The Leapfrog Foundation announced today that Mercy Hospital received an ‘A’ grade in its Hospital Safety Grade report. This is the eighth time in a row that Mercy Hospital has received this national recognition, which is based on a hospital’s performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections, and other harms to patients in their care.
 
As Northern Light Health hospitals prepare to open additional services, some of the steps that are being taking to ensure a safe care environment for its patients can be found below:
 
  • Separate COVID-19 screening and assessment sites: To provide the safest care to all patients, separate locations for COVID-19 assessments and treatment have been established. Telehealth appointments are also being offered to patients with respiratory concerns. Ensuring there are offsite and virtual options for COVID-19 care ensures that medical practices can continue to see patients in the safest environment possible.
  • Screening process at all facilities: Everyone who enters Northern Light Health facilities will be screened for symptoms. As an added layer of protection, temperature checks using touch free thermometers are being conducted during the screening process. Those who answer positively to a screening question or have a temperature above 100.4 will be directed away from the facility and referred to the appropriate level of care.
  • Universal masking and physical distancing: All Northern Light Health employees—clinical and non-clinical—are required to wear a face mask at all times while at work. Patients and visitors are also required to wear a face covering. Patients without a face covering will be provided a mask during the screening process to wear while within NLH facilities. Additionally, patients will be asked to maintain physical distancing, and scheduling of patients as well as the layout of reception areas are being changed to accommodate it.
  • Visitor policy: No visitors are allowed at Northern Light Health hospitals and other facilities, including primary care and specialty care centers, with limited exceptions.
  • Care at home through telehealth: From primary care to specialty care, telehealth visits are a convenient way for patients to get the care and guidance they need without leaving home.