MCH and hospitals across the country postponed many elective and non-critical medical appointments beginning in March 16th in the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prepare our hospitals for a predicted surge of COVID-19 patients. Thanks to significant steps the state has taken and our community’s compliance with the precautions, New Hampshire has not yet experienced that surge that would stress and potentially overwhelm hospital capacity.
Each hospital is now in the process of reintegrating certain services to care for the ongoing medical needs of our patients. Decisions about how and when to bring back services will be up to each individual hospital and will look different depending on the capacity of the hospital to ensure the safety of all patients and staff. While we have to remain vigilant, it is time to plan for responsibly resuming health care services and work our way back to a more normal health care environment.
Our focus is to ensure that all patients coming back for medical care will be seen in a safe and secure environment. Patients can enter MCH knowing no one takes the delivery of health care more seriously than our doctors, nurses and staff who are courageously leading our institution through this crisis. “Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and caring for those in our community who may be impacted by COVID-19 remains our top priority. We remain committed to protecting our patients and staff through ongoing vigilance as we navigate through what may be our new normal in health care delivery,” said Cyndee McGuire, President and CEO.
Following the guidance released by the state on May 1st, MCH will phase-in procedures and appointments based on our assurance and ability to deliver safe and effective health care in accordance with:
- Established guidelines ensuring safe segregation and treatment of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
- Sufficient availability of personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of both patients and staff.
- Adequate testing supplies and equipment.
- Alignment with established guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and other regulatory agencies.
- Flexible policies permitting immediate response to any COVID-19 surge.
“Our reintegration of service will be a slow, thoughtful, and phased process. We need to consider our aging population and the specific needs of our community. We urge patients not to delay care, and to call their physician’s office if they have any concerns. Our Tele-health Service has been significantly expanded to allow providers to consult with patients in a virtual setting which has been well received. Monadnock Community Hospital is eager to begin our return to normal operations, but only when it is appropriate to do so, and in coordination with local, state, and system partners,” said Cyndee McGuire.
While the crisis is far from over, we know that COVID-19 will continue to be the primary focus of hospitals and health care providers for the foreseeable future, however we are mindful of the many New Hampshire residents who have deferred care for chronic conditions and other non-urgent medical needs. MCH will continue to partner with public health and others to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic so that we can be prepared for periodic or unpredictable increases in the number of cases that may occur in our region and make the adjustments necessary to ensure the safety of our patients and healthcare workers.