Phoebe Sumter Prepares to Restart Some Outpatient Services

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Friday, May 8th, 2020

Beginning Monday, May 11, Phoebe Sumter will restart a limited number of high-priority outpatient surgeries and testing procedures that were curtailed during the hospital’s COVID-19 response.  “Unfortunately, we know some patients have delayed care during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in our area.  We want them to know Phoebe Sumter is here to serve their healthcare needs.  We will phase in services over the coming weeks, initially focusing medically necessary procedures,” said Brandi Lunneborg, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center Chief Executive Officer.

Services that will restart Monday include:

Outpatient surgeries for high-priority patients only

Pre-admission testing appointments

Diagnostic mammography

Breast biopsies

Lexiscan stress tests

Cardiac rehabilitation

Stat x-ray and lab

PTM treatments

“At least for the next several weeks, our schedules will be limited and staggered to ensure we manage patient volume and maintain proper social distancing.  We have removed chairs from waiting rooms and taken other measures to provide 6-foot separation,” Lunneborg said.

Patients scheduled for outpatient surgery will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test 3-5 days before the scheduled procedure, after which patients will be required to practice self-isolation until the day of the procedure.  All patients will be temperature-screened before entering a Phoebe Sumter facility and will be given a mask if they don’t have one.  They will also be required to use hand sanitizer.  All Phoebe Sumter employees will also wear masks.  Patients will be asked to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before scheduled appointments, and they will be encouraged to come alone.  If they require assistance, they will be allowed to bring one person with them.

“While some of the restrictions we have put in place may cause minor inconveniences, everything we are doing is to protect our patients, staff and community.  We have gone to extraordinary lengths to clean and sanitize areas throughout our hospital and clinics, and our extensive efforts to prevent COVID-19 transmission will continue to exceed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Lunneborg said.

Phoebe Sumter has also ceased operation of its drive-through COVID-19 testing site due to decreasing demand and the need to reassign workers as services restart.  “We collected swabs from well over 600 people at our drive-through site.  We were proud to provide this service for our community and will continue to work to make sure patients who need COVID-19 tests can receive them,” Lunneborg said.  Phoebe Sumter will continue to test all patients admitted to the hospital.  COVID-19 tests are also available at Phoebe Sumter primary care clinics and at local county health departments.