Caldwell Medical Center resumed non-urgent outpatient care Monday that included physical therapy, diagnostic radiology and laboratory services, responding to Gov. Andy Beshear’s move to gradually allow health care facilities to reopen.
Hospital CEO Dan Odeegard said he agrees with Beshear’s decision.
“Issues that require health care services, though elective, may turn into more serious complications if not addressed in a timely manner,” Odeegard said.
“I believe reopening these types of services — such as our outpatient physical therapy — will be a relief to many and help avoid more costly solutions at a later date.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for hygiene and social distancing remain in place.
Dr. Shanna Phillips, a physical therapist, said she’s used to seeing masks and hand sanitizer by now, though she’s happy for some return to normalcy.
Patients are being screened for coronavirus symptoms and high temperatures, and visitors aren’t yet allowed in the clinic or waiting room.
“I feel like it’s the right time (to open) — many of my patients may not have acute injuries, but their conditions could get worse,” Phillips said.
Patients with neurological conditions or those recovering from broken bones could still attend physical therapy during the full closures. However, now Phillips is allowed to resume treating non-emergent cases like chronic back and knee pain.
“They were still suffering and in pain,” she said. “We can be a good line of defense for patients in musculoskeletal pain to keep them out of emergency rooms and in places where they’d be more likely to be exposed.”
“As long as you follow the guidelines, I think this is a very safe environment for people to go to.”
Monday was phase one of Kentucky’s reopening, according to the Kentucky Governor’s Office. Three health care phases remain.
Phase two, which begins May 6, will permit outpatient and ambulatory surgery, along with invasive procedures.
Phases three and four will allow normal operations at 50- and then 100-% pre-COVID-19 volumes, respectively.