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Aspirus ready to expand care services

Aspirus is starting to see more patients for all types of care including procedures, and primary and specialty care, that may have previously been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health system is working closely with its physicians to safely increase in a controlled manner its volume of procedures and appointments. In doing so, Aspirus will closely monitor its use of important supplies and follow guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health agencies.

“I’m proud of the efforts our team has made to address the COVID-19 pandemic while still caring for patients experiencing a wide variety of health care needs,” said Matthew Heywood, president/CEO of Aspirus. “We are glad to be increasing our care capacity because we are concerned that people may be delaying care for non COVID-19 health issues, which can lead to smaller problems becoming more serious.”

Aspirus has been very effective at securing critical supplies throughout the pandemic and has made some important operational changes to support a safe increase in volumes, including:

• Expanding capabilities to test any patient who displays symptoms of COVID-19.

• Designating areas within clinics to provide primary and specialty care services to patients with and without symptoms associated with COVID-19.

In addition to these operational changes, Aspirus has implemented rigorous safety measures based on CDC guidelines and close collaboration with state and local health agencies. They include:

• Visitor restrictions.

• Patient, employee and provider screening.

• Effective and consistent Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage and masking.

• Expanded and separate intensive care capacity and negative pressure rooms.

“We recognize that people in our communities remain cautious about seeking care during this pandemic but keeping our patients and employees safe remains our number one priority,” Heywood said. “The virus will likely be present in the community until a vaccine is available, so further delaying or postponing care for health needs may be a bigger concern than the virus itself.”

Aspirus will be contacting patients who may have had previous appointments delayed due to COVID-19. Aspirus also encourages anyone with health concerns to call their doctors’ office to schedule an appointment. Appointments can be offered in person, over the phone or via videoconferencing where appropriate.