Letter to Patients regarding COVID -19
As you are aware, we have all been through a lot over the last few months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor has now formally indicated that we can open the Midwest Endoscopy Center (“MEC”) and restart elective procedures. As we open our doors, we want to assure you that we are committed both to your safety and that of our staff. We have put into place some new infection control processes and procedures to provide better protection for everyone and to limit any possible exposure.
In keeping with the infection control recommendations made by the American Medical Association (“AMA”), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (“ASGE”), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”), we have come up with the following guidelines that we will be following. Please note that if the guidance provided by any of the above agencies should change, we will update our infection control procedures.
The following is a summary of how we will now be handling all patients:
- You will be required to obtain a COVID test 72 hours prior to your procedure. You will receive a call and be told where and when to go for your test. All testing will be performed at a drive-through testing site. Once the test is complete we will ask you to self-isolate as best possible. Please avoid all non-essential
activities outside of the home. If you must do so, please wear a mask at all times,
practice social distancing and use hand sanitizer. You will receive a call 24-36 hours after the test with your results. A positive test will require rescheduling of your appointment.
- You will receive a call from our office within 24 to 72 hours of a scheduled appointment in order to answer some screening questions. Currently if a patient has tested positive for COVID or otherwise displays any symptoms, MEC will delay scheduling of any patient appointment.
- You will be asked to arrive in the parking lot at your designated time. We will call you when we are ready and ask you to pull up to the main entrance. We ask that unless a patient absolutely requires accompaniment or has a disability that needs to be accommodated, the patient come into MEC alone. Your driver will remain in the car and MEC will call once the procedure is completed.
- Each patient will be greeted at the car outside the office by a staff member of MEC. At that time, the following steps will be taken by the staff member greeting the vehicle:
- Take temperatures of patient and/or accompanying individual. Please note that it is important that you do NOT take acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), aspirin or any other medications the day of your procedure that can lower your temperature unless you are specifically told otherwise.
- Provide patient and/or accompanying individual with a face mask unless they are already wearing one, which would be preferable, and make sure that the face mask is being worn properly.
- Review the COVID medical questionnaire to be sure that nothing provided in the previous screening has changed and to be sure that the accompanying individual also satisfies the questionnaire.
- Confirm there is a signed informed consent/waiver that has been provided to the office for both the patient and anyone who accompanies the patient.
If any of the above conditions are not satisfied, the patient will not be seen and will need to reschedule their appointment unless the physician agrees.
- The patient will be taken into MEC and asked to sanitize hands upon entry. They will then be taken directly to the pre-operative room and will be given directions on next steps. If the patient is being accompanied by an individual who must remain in the building, that individual will remain in the waiting area unless there
is a reason for them also to go to the treatment area. In this case, they will be required to wear full personal protective equipment.
- The waiting area has been modified to reduce seating and to assure social distancing. There will be no toys, magazines or other items available in the waiting area. The waiting area will be repeatedly disinfected throughout the day. Please do not remove items from your bags or pockets or leave anything at MEC while on the premises.
- Once the procedure is completed, the patient will be escorted back out to the waiting car. The driver will have been called.
Please note that we have reduced the number of appointments that we will be taking and have increased the time between patients in order to reduce waiting times and possible congestion in the office. We appreciate your understanding.
Please review the attached FAQ sheet that answers many additional questions that you may have. We strongly encourage you to read this.
Although no organization can completely eliminate the risks of COVID-19 exposure, we want to assure you of our commitment and dedication to providing the safest environment for both our patients and staff.
If you have any questions, we hope that you will feel free to reach out to us. If you would like to make an appointment, please call our office at 630-527-6450. We look forward to welcoming you back to MEC and hope that you and your family have stayed safe during this pandemic.
Very truly yours,
MEC Board of Directors