A message to the community from BRMC

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Jace Jones

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many have called and asked if it is safe to get health care? Is it safe to see your provider or go to the hospital for services including the emergency department?

We want to assure it is safe to have your healthcare concerns addressed even during this pandemic. Brownwood Regional Medical Center prioritizes safety for their patients and the staff with many precautions in place for your protection. Your health and the health of your loved ones is important, it is what matters most to us at BRMC. One thing you should not do is put off addressing important health care needs. Even during an outbreak, skipping appointments is risky and may lead to complications.

As we have learned more about the coronavirus and how it spreads, the hospital and health care industry has implemented many new practices to help protect you as we continue to provide safe, top-quality care. You should make your appointment with your care provider even during the pandemic. As a reminder, many providers are able to address your concerns with a virtual visit, a phone call, or the provider may request a face to face visit. The provider determines what best meets the needs for the patient concerns.

BRMC’s current COVID safety and security measures are:

• We are following expert infection control guidance from the Center for Disease Control in our hospitals and clinics. Understanding how the disease spreads is one of the best ways to keep ourselves and others safe. We are following the most up-to-date safety protocols in all of our locations.

• We provide care to COVID patients separately from other patients. Caring for COVID or suspected COVID patients apart from others allows us to treat and care for patient’s conditions that are not related to COVID. This reduces the chance for COVID spread.

• We have mandated additional cleaning and disinfection protocols. We know that the coronavirus and other germs can live on surfaces people touch. That’s why we have added additional surface cleanings, disinfection and safety protocols at all of our locations, in addition to our regular rigorous cleaning standards. This includes doors, lobbies, restrooms, waiting rooms, appointment rooms, furniture, vents, equipment and many more public and private spaces at every facility. All our team members are doing their part to keep our clinics, specialty centers and hospitals sanitized. Our care sites are well stocked with disinfectants and other cleaning supplies. We are going above and beyond to make sure every surface, seat, high-touch and high-traffic area is hygienic and ready for you when you come to visit us.

• We practice social distancing in our hospitals and clinics. To keep you safe, we have modified our waiting rooms and lobbies so patients may stay at least six feet (about two arm lengths) apart. This helps keep everyone safer and healthier. When you check in for your appointment – or if there is a short wait – new layouts and helpful signage make it easy to know where to go and when. We are limiting visitors in our locations to reduce the number of people in our waiting rooms and lobbies. By having less people in our facilities, there’s less chance for viruses and other germs to circulate. That makes it easier for us to care for those who need it.

• We have mandated a screening process for our hospital and all clinics. - Keeping people with COVID quarantined helps minimize the spread of the illness. To help ensure that no one showing signs of COVID arrives unexpectedly, we have set up screenings at all of our care locations. Both patients and staff members are screened for COVID symptoms when they arrive. If we notice any symptoms, we isolate the person and help them get the right care with standardized precautions and procedures.

• We require a negative COVID screening test for all surgical patients before a surgery may completed.

• We require masks or face coverings (over mouth and nose) for everyone entering the hospital or clinics.

While we are taking every precaution to help keep our patients and team members safe, we cannot do it without your assistance. Here are a few, simple things you must do to stop the spread:

• Wear a face covering in public (and when you visit the doctor)

• Maintain your social distancing six foot apart

• Wash your hands often for 20 seconds each time and try not to touch your face (most common ways the coronavirus gets into the body)

Your health is essential. If a health issue is concerning you or you have a chronic condition that you manage regularly; it is important to get the right diagnosis and treatment. You must understand that putting off health care may complicate your condition or make your recovery more difficult.

As we look to the future and continue to provide safe, top-quality care, we are proud to say that the pandemic has not changed our daily compassionate care for our friends and families.

Jace Jones is CEO of Brownwood Regional Medical Center