UW Health COVID-19 Update for Referring Providers – May 19, 2020
Dear Partner in Health,
We hope that you are doing well as we all chart an unprecedented course through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most healthcare systems nationwide, we made the decision in March to postpone non-essential procedures and non-urgent surgeries to limit exposure and prepare for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. Following a series of protocols to keep everyone safe and protected from COVID-19 exposure, essential surgeries and procedures continued during this time.
Because of strong physical distancing efforts in our community and the successful implementation of safety protocols at our hospitals and clinics, we are now able to increase access to many important procedures, surgeries and other care for patients.
What’s the latest?
- We are screening every patient, visitor and staff member upon arrival at our facilities for symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, we are testing symptomatic staff and all patients prior to surgery and other high-risk procedures to limit spread of COVID-19.
- We have necessary PPE and procedures to safely care for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Additionally, we are cohorting our limited numbers of COVID-19 patients to avoid contact with other staff, patients and visitors.
- We have instituted visitor restrictions and a universal masking policy to promote safety within our buildings.
- We are performing surgeries across virtually all pediatric and adult specialty areas, and are back at ~75% of our pre-COVID volumes, including performing organ transplants and evaluating living kidney and liver donors.
- We are available for consults and are completing new patient evaluations both virtually and in person. We are continuing to expand access to surgeries and procedures and have started contacting patients for scheduling. We have dramatically increased our capacity for telehealth and video visits, completing over 5,000 telehealth visits per week and are pleased to be able to use this platform as we continue to partner with you in caring for patients.
- Our emergency transport team continues to serve the region, protecting patients by following known safety protocols, including use of PPE and thoroughly decontaminating vehicles after every transport.
We are grateful for your partnership as we work together to deliver the highest levels of care in the safest ways possible. If you would like to request a consult or make a referral, please contact us online or by calling (800) 472-0111.
With our appreciation and well wishes,
Dr. Peter Newcomer
Chief Clinical Officer, UW Health