Updated 05/03/20 9:00 pm
We are returning to normal … slowly! In accordance with the State of North Carolina guidelines, we anticipate opening our office for all appointment needs on Monday, May 11, 2020. We look forward to providing wellness exams and mammograms again! This transition will be in a controlled fashion over the next few weeks as we bring our full complement of staff and providers back to the office, and return to the normal business hours.
If you have an appointment after May 11th, plan to be seen at our office. If you will not be able to keep that appointment, please call us to reschedule. If we need to adjust your appointment due to our staffing limitations, you will receive a phone call and/or a message through our Patient Portal.
If your appointment was canceled in the last six weeks, please know that we are working to get you rescheduled. We are adjusting the providers’ schedules and creating new space for you.
In addition to the detailed Arbor Office information below, you should be aware of these new items before your appointment:
- Patients ONLY in our office — no children or guests. (Limited exceptions below)
- On May 11th, all patients must wear a mask or face covering while in our office — no exceptions. You must bring your own; we do not have enough supplies to provide masks to patients. Although we will try to maintain safe physical distancing practices, you will unavoidably come into contact with staff members and other patients. Let us all protect one another!
Our Arbor ObGyn patients must be comfortable visiting our office and know that we follow strict sterilization safeguards and standards. The health of our patients, visitors, and staff is the utmost priority. By taking precautionary measures, it is our goal to maintain the patient’s safety while providing the highest level of care. Some examples are:
- Our care spaces, waiting rooms, restrooms, and door handles are regularly sanitized for your protection.
- All staff members have their temperature screened each workday.
- Hand hygiene is paramount for our staff and patients. Use any sink or hand sanitizer you see.
- All patients (and visitors) will be screened in our triage area with a thermometer. Consider taking your temperature at home too, before you come to our office.
- We have eliminated unnecessary traffic through our office by halting visits from drug representatives, vendors, and catering.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, call the UNC helpline at 888-850-2684 before visiting our office, an urgent care location, hospital, or emergency room. Also, the North Carolina COVID-19 information hotline is 866-462-3821, and is for questions about the virus and for testing locations. In general, if you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, we request you call the office to postpone your appointment.
- Appointments for routine annual exams and other wellness visits will resume on Monday, May 11th!
- Contact our office by phone before your appointment if you are feeling ill, have a fever, or have been exposed to a viral illness. Be assured that if any member of our Arbor ObGyn team is ill, they will not be in our office caring for you!
- Current national recommendations are for individuals to wear a face covering (mask, cloth) when in crowded public spaces, to reduce the chance of you unknowingly spreading the corona-virus to another person. Similar to many other medical offices, starting Monday, May 11th we REQUIRE that all patients (and visitors) wear a face covering while in our office. You must bring your own; we do not have enough supplies to provide masks to patients. Although we try to maintain safe physical distancing practices, you will unavoidably come into contact with staff members and other patients. Let us all protect one another!
- Our waiting rooms have been modified to allow for maximal physical distancing. Please be respectful of other patients boundaries.
- In general, our patients are STILL RESTRICTED from bringing guests with them to their appointment. This is to reduce the likelihood of unrecognized coronavirus carriers from infecting our staff and other patients, as well as to allow for more physical distancing. Patients arriving with additional persons will be asked to have them wait in their vehicle, or outside the office building. Patients arriving with children will be asked to reschedule. As an exception, you may bring one healthy guest for your first prenatal appointment, and to your anatomy-ultrasound appointment. If you have a unique circumstance, please call our office ahead of time to inquire.
- Previously canceled surgeries will re-enter the scheduling queue. Our ability to perform your surgery is dependent on UNC REX Hospital’s Covid-19 patient census, as well as the clinical urgency of your surgical need. Rex will also prioritize surgeries that are of short duration, require minimal stay and equipment resources, and are for otherwise healthy women.
- Woman’s Health Alliance Mammography (4414 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh, Suite 309) will resume all mammograms on May 11th. You will be contacted to reschedule, if yours was canceled during the pandemic. If you get your mammogram at another facility, check with them on scheduling policy.
- In lieu of face-to-face visits, TeleMedicine appointments are available for established Arbor patients that still would like to consult about a medical matter with their provider by phone. See the TeleHealth tab at the top of our homepage for additional information. You can select an appointment time, and our staff and providers will contact you by phone at that time. Your health insurance and co-pays will be billed for that appointment at the customary contracted TeleMedicine rate.
- Cancelled appointments will be given priority as our schedule restrictions are being lifted! During this time of uncertainty, we are waiving all appointment cancellation fees. We are also making it easier for patients whose care has been postponed to obtain needed prescription medication refills: if there are no changes to your medication, simply ask your pharmacy to send us a 90 DAY refill request, and we will gladly take care of that for you.
UNC REX Healthcare (Hospital)
- Rex Hospital falls under the guidance of UNC Health. Their policies mirror those of UNC Health. Duke Health and WakeMed are also implementing similar precautionary measures.
- Gynecologic Surgery patients: Once North Carolina enters Phase 1 of the recovery, Rex will start allowing more elective surgeries. We are constantly monitoring this availability, to get your surgery back on schedule.
- Pregnant Patients: The Women’s Center is open and fully staffed for deliveries and postpartum care, and has coronavirus mitigation measures in place. Keep in mid that guest restrictions are evolving. All patients and support persons will be issued a mask and are required to wear it when outside of their room or when anyone else enters their room. As of 04/02/2020, only ONE SUPPORT PERSON (spouse, partner, douala, etc.) may accompany a laboring mother, and that person will be the only guest permitted throughout your hospitalization (that is, not rotating one-at-a-time). That guest is also to stay at Rex for the entire hospitalization. That guest may NOT go to their car, run errands, etc. (The only exception is when you have an unexpected hospital admission, the guest may obtain personal belongings from the car). If your support person leaves, they are not allowed to return to the hospital until the day of discharge to pick you up. Also, your support person my order meals at a nominal fee. This can be purchased over the telephone by credit card. Food delivery is allowed, however, you mush meet the driver in the Women’s Center lobby. You can view UNC Rex’s up-to-date full visitor policy on their website.
FOR PREGNANT HEALTHCARE WORKERS
- Our current guidance for pregnant women who are also healthcare workers does not mandate removal from the workplace. Please let us know If you would like us to formalize a letter to your employer with following guidelines.
- Adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings. Be sure your employer knows you are pregnant before you provide any direct patient care to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. When possible, and depending on staffing, management should consider limiting your exposure to these patients. This is especially true if you perform procedures with a higher chance of coming into contact with a patient’s respiratory droplets (such as intubation).
- If you do provide care to a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, be sure to follow the Standard, Contact, and Airborne Precautions for all healthcare workers, as outlined by CDC. If you are pregnant and you cared for a patient with COVID-19 without all the recommended precautions in place (for example, no PPE), contact your employer immediately to let them know. Depending on the type of care you are involved in and current staffing needs, your employer may ask you to self-isolate (stay at home) for a period of time, or to monitor yourself for symptoms (such as fever) while continuing to report to work.