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Additional measures to keep patients and staff safe as more surgeries, procedures and clinic visits resume

WINSTON-SALEM — As Wake Forest Baptist Health increases the number of surgeries, procedures and outpatient clinic visits across the entire health system, patients will notice some changes designed to keep them and health care staff safe.

Surgeons and surgical staff have been working extra hours over the past couple of weeks to meet the increased demand for non-essential surgeries and procedures that were temporarily halted in March.

Many outpatient clinics are now resuming in-person visits, while still offering telephone, virtual and e-visits.

“Virtual visits remain a convenient option in many situations, but we know there are health concerns and chronic diseases that are best addressed and managed in person, and we also realize many of our patients have been waiting on surgeries and procedures that are needed to help improve their quality of life,” said Kevin P. High, M.D., health system president of Wake Forest Baptist Health. “While things may look a little different now, we have already heard from many patients who appreciate the measures that have been put in place to protect them and our staff.

“We want everyone to feel safe and to not delay receiving the care that they need.”

Some of the changes patients will notice include:

  • Implementing social distancing in all clinic locations and elevators
  • Installing clear dividers when social distancing is not possible
  • Minimizing wait times in common areas, such as waiting rooms
  • Asking patients to join all providers and staff in wearing masks
  • Conducting screening for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival
  • Providing COVID-19 testing for all patients before undergoing surgery

“In addition to these measures, we are cleaning all of our facilities following strict sanitation protocols, limiting visitors and continuing to promote good hand washing practices,” High said. “Our infection prevention experts and our entire staff are doing all we can to keep those who count on us safe and protected, especially during these challenging times.”

Patients who need to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment can call 336-716-WAKE. Wake Forest Baptist’s COVID-19 hotline is available to serve those without a primary care provider at 336-70-COVID.