Effective this week, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is ramping up elective diagnostic imaging following robust planning to ensure everyone remains safe when accessing ambulatory care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Diagnostic Imaging Department has begun rescheduling elective X-rays, ultrasounds, mammograms, CT scans, bone density and nuclear medicine procedures. An information sheet has been developed to help patients prepare for their outpatient appointment, available on the MAHC website on the Diagnostic Imaging service page.
:We recognize that service reductions have been difficult and frustrating for patients whose care has been delayed,” says Natalie Bubela, CEO. “We thank everyone for their patience, understanding and co-operation as we work through the imaging request backlog.”
New precautions are being implemented to keep everyone safe while co-existing with an active COVID-19 virus. Imaging patients are asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes in advance of their appointment. They will be screened for COVID-19 by phone the day before their appointment as well as at the facility entrance.
To better protect our community, X-ray visits are now required to be appointment-based. Drop-ins will no longer be available at both hospital sites and the Almaguin Highlands Health Centre in Burk’s Falls. New precautions and changes to services are required to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and adhere to strict distancing requirements that are more difficult to achieve in aging buildings with little flexibility to expand waiting area spaces. At this time, support people and visitors continue to be restricted unless deemed an approved exception. These measures help MAHC to limit the number of people in the building at any given time.
A second entrance is open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week. Patients, including those accessing imaging services, are asked to follow the signage to the appropriate entrance at each site. Upon paying for parking, patients will exit the hospitals from the lobby area.
“MAHC’s ‘new normal’ and ensuring safe, high-quality service during an active pandemic has required many changes to practices and to our facilities to meet public health measures like physical distancing,” Bubela adds. “Patients will have a different experience than they might anticipate and we appreciate their understanding.”
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