BACH Department of Women’s Health implements changes for patient safety
By Maria Christina YagerMarch 26, 2020
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s Department of Women’s Health announced measures it’s enacting to protect the safety of patients and staff as the nation attempts to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of COVID-19.The clinic will reduce some services that may be safely postponed until the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a threat to our community. These appointments will be rebooked once hospital officials feel the risk is diminished.“Outpatient OB-GYN services such as well-woman examinations, elective procedure and surgeries, non-urgent GYN consults and colposcopy evaluations will be cancelled, with the exception of cases for active-duty readiness,” said Col. Maryann Masone, chief of BACH’s Department of Women’s Health. “This measure is necessary and designed to reduce risk to our patients and staff during this time.”In order to reduce exposure for obstetric patients, the clinic will be moving to virtual (telephonic) appointments for certain scheduled visits throughout their pregnancy, said Masone, these are based on gestational age. Virtual appointments will occur for all new OB orientation; 16-week, 24-week and 32-week visits.All other OB appointments will continue face-to-face including OB physical; anatomy scan, 28-week and 36-week visits and weekly visits closer to delivery starting at 38 weeks. All high risk testing will continue.All OB related labs and anatomy scans will be completed in the Women’s Health clinic during scheduled OB appointment or during a scheduled lab appointment within the clinic.Patients may use TRICARE® Online Patient Portal Secure Messaging at www.TOLSecureMessaging.com to communicate with their provider. Messages left for providers and clinic staff may take longer to respond due to volume.There is no change to emergency services for obstetrical patients. If an emergent or urgent condition arises, please report to the emergency room if gestation is less than 20 weeks; and Labor and Delivery if gestation is greater than 20 weeks. Patients should call the Nurse Advice Line or Labor and Delivery with questions or concerns prior to coming to the hospital.“This is especially important if you have been sick with a fever, respiratory illness, and shortness of breath and/or exposure to a COVID 19 person or recent travel to a high risk area so that medical staff can prepare for your arrival,” said Masone.Lastly, the hospital’s visitation policy throughout Blanchfield has changed and currently allows no more than two visitors per patient throughout the patient’s hospital stay, which includes the clinic, Labor and Delivery and the Mother Baby Unit. No visitors under the age of 16 or over 60 years of age are authorized. This policy is based on current Health Protection Conditions for the health and safety of patients and staff.“We understand this is a stressful time for all and we are working hard to care for all our patients,” said Masone.Beneficiaries can learn more about COVID-19 by visiting the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.