Helping Keep You and Our Community Safe
At Aiken Regional Medical Centers, patient safety is always our top priority. Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding the extraordinary measures we are taking during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep patients, physicians, staff and the community safe.
Q: What steps has the hospital taken to help ensure the ongoing health and safety of patients, their families, staff, associates and the community?
Aiken Regional is working closely with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Aiken County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate and treat patients and follow appropriate protocols. We have implemented additional precautions and safety protocols for patients, medical staff and associates to help ensure a safe and clean environment, including but not limited to:
- Universal masking of all persons entering the hospital
- Isolation of patients with COVID-19
- COVID-19 testing of patients prior to surgery
- Provision of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for caregivers
- Temperature checks prior to entry
- Screening questionnaires prior to entry
- Limited visitation
- Rigorous cleaning and disinfection
- UV light sterilization
Q: Is it safe to go to the Emergency Department when experiencing a medical emergency?
Yes, the hospital has taken extra measures to help keep everyone safe, including the separation and isolation of any patients suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19. Seeking critical emergency care can be life-saving. Patients experiencing serious injuries or medical symptoms such as chest pain, numbness, difficulty breathing or mental confusion should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department — it could save your life.
Q: When will elective (non-essential) surgeries and procedures resume at Aiken Regional?
The hospital resumed elective cases Wednesday, April 22 at Aiken Regional and the Surgery Center of Aiken.
Q: What should a patient expect upon arrival?
All persons entering Aiken Regional or any of its outpatient locations will be temperature checked and asked a series of CDC COVID-19 screening questions. These steps will help prohibit people with symptoms or risk factors from entering the building. Also, given visitation is suspended, patients should plan to be dropped off and picked up after a procedure.
Outpatient appointments are limited to the patient only; others should remain in their vehicles.
The aforementioned screenings and restrictions are in effect at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Aurora Pavilion Behavioral Health Services, Business and Industry, Cancer Care Institute of Carolina, Diabetes and Nutrition Teaching Center, Hitchcock Rehab Services (adult and children), Palmetto Pediatric Center, Southside Imaging, Surgery Center of Aiken, Women’s Breast Health and Imaging and the Wound Healing Institute of Carolina.
Q: If a patient is required to have a pre-operative clearance visit and pre-admission testing, are virtual options available?
Virtual visits are not available for pre-operative clearance. However, patients who do not require pre-admission testing will be screened by phone. For information about pre-admission testing including scheduled hours and laboratory options, please contact your primary care physician's office directly.
Q: How far in advance should a patient schedule pre-operative testing?
We recommend patients plan ahead to ensure all pre-operative testing requirements are completed prior to surgery. The physician’s office will provide you with your pre-operative testing date. If you need to cancel or make changes to the date, please contact your physician's office.
Q: If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 during pre-admission testing, how will their surgery be affected?
A patient testing positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days. The hospital will re-test the patient prior to scheduling a new surgery date.
Q: With visitation suspended, what should the patient tell the person who will be dropping them off and picking them up after the procedure?
Patients must be dropped off outside the outpatient registration entrance of the hospital or the front entrance of the ambulatory surgery center. The hospital will contact drivers with their anticipated pick-up time, therefore patients are asked to provide their driver’s contact information upon arrival on the day of their procedure.
Q: With visitation suspended, how can patients connect with loved ones before and after surgery?
Patients can utilize virtual options such as phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and other communications on their mobile device before and after surgery.