Fort HealthCare is lifting the temporary restrictions placed on elective surgery and outpatient procedures due to the COVID-19 virus. The decision follows the release of Governor Evers’ Badger Bounce Back plan for the state. The health system will schedule non-high risk patients for as soon as Monday, May 11.  “This is great news for patients who have placed their care plans on hold due to COVID-19,” said President and CEO Mike Wallace. “Our team is ready to deliver safe care to all patients. We continue to follow all Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, The American College of Surgeons, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wisconsin Department of Health and the Wisconsin Hospital Association safety guidelines.”

Safety protocols put in place regarding care include, but are not limited to:

  • All individuals entering Fort HealthCare facilities, including team members, will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature monitoring.
  • All individuals entering Fort HealthCare facilities will be asked to don a cloth face covering. Patients may bring their own face covering or may opt to wear one supplied by the health system if they do not have one.
  • All care team members will wear surgical masks and protective eye wear, as well as other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), at all times when caring for patients.
  • Visitors will still be prohibited unless they meet exclusion criteria.
  • Six-foot social distances will be established in public areas such as waiting rooms.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch, public surface areas will continue.
  • Infectious patients will continue to be cared for in isolation, away from non-infectious patients.

“We’re able to lift restrictions due to the low COVID-19 transmission rate within our community and all the safety measures we have in place,” said Wallace. “However, our new normal is that we now live with the COVID-19 virus. As people resume activities, we may see a spike in the virus and we will always side on protecting our patients, healthcare workers and community by returning to more restrictive policies and protocols. Fort HealthCare will remain prepared at all times to handle a surge and care for our community and surrounding area.”

Fort HealthCare has always had the safety of patients and employees top of mind, this is showcased in all the accolades the organization has received recently including an “A” rating for safety by the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, the 5-Star ranking in the Medicare Hospital Compare performance measure, a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital award by The Chartis Center for Rural Health and the three year accreditation from the Joint Commission recognizing safe and high quality care.

To remain prepared, Fort HealthCare will maintain a sufficient supply of PPE as well as other resources necessary to care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, the health system will collaborate with local clinics and the Department of Health to continually evaluate incidences and trends of COVID-19 cases within Jefferson County and the surrounding area.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Wallace. “Our services may look a little different in the new normal, but our commitment to our mission and vision remains the same.”

Patients who wish to schedule their elective surgery or outpatient procedure should first visit with their appropriate provider.