Health Alert:

See the latest Coronavirus Information including testing sites, visitation restrictions, appointments and scheduling, and more.

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The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority as our region continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is information on the steps Penn Medicine has taken to maximize safety while continuing to provide high quality care. We are available to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.

Safety

Is it safe for me to go to my upcoming doctor's appointment?

We are taking extra steps to make sure all care environments and operating rooms are safe for patients and providers. We regularly and rigorously clean and disinfect waiting rooms and patient care areas; require masks or face coverings for all staff, patients and visitors; have made it easier to maximize physical distancing in our facilities; and implemented new processes such as contact-less check-in and check-out.

What should I do to prepare to come in for an appointment or surgery?

One day before your appointment, we will send you an automated text or call to screen you for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 (these include fevers, chills, cough, loss of sense of taste or smell, muscle pain, headache, or sore throat), a Penn Medicine nurse will follow up with you to review your symptoms and determine next steps.

Wear a face covering or mask to your visit, procedure or surgery.

Is there someone I can talk to if I feel anxious or scared about my appointment or surgery?

If you feel anxious or have concerns about coming in for care, call our hotline at 833-983-1350 to speak with us. We also can connect you with a behavioral health specialist who can talk with you about your concerns.

Visitors

What is Penn Medicine's visitation policy during COVID-19?

Currently, we have practices in place, including limiting visitors, to maximize the safety of all who enter our hospitals and facilities. Read our current visitation policy.

Procedure Prioritization

How is Penn Medicine prioritizing which types of patients should have surgery?

We are prioritizing patients for surgery based on their medical condition, their risk for disease progression, their decision to have surgery or procedure, and available resources.

Can I postpone my surgery?

It is important that you discuss whether to postpone your surgery with your doctor. You and your surgeon can make an informed decision together based on your specific medical condition.

I have a lab order from my physician. How do I get that done?

We have many convenient outpatient lab locations throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Some of our locations are by appointment only, while others accept walk-ins. Please note that hours and available services have changed and are subject to change in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For up-to-date information, visit PennMedicine.org/OutpatientLabs.

I need a radiology exam or procedure prior to my surgery. How do I get that done?

While some radiology locations offer walk-in visits, we recommend that all patients schedule an appointment. This will ensure that any pre-certification needed is complete before your visit. To schedule, call the appropriate number below and a representative will help you find a location and a time that's right for you:

Testing

Do I need to test negative for COVID-19 before I have my surgery? What happens if I test positive?

You must be tested for COVID-19 within two days of the surgery. If the SARS-CoV-2 virus associated with COVID-19 was NOT detected in your test, your surgery will proceed as planned. If you test positive, you and your surgeon will make a decision regarding whether you can safely delay your procedure. We have practices in place to be able to perform emergency surgeries safely on patients with COVID-19.

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

We have in-house testing capabilities with drive-thru test collection available if necessary. Your care team will talk to you about the best way for you to get tested.

Are my doctors and nurses being screened and tested for COVID-19?

All staff, including physicians, surgeons and nurses, are being screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposures before entering any of our facilities. Staff with any symptoms of COVID-19 are being tested, and staff with possible exposure to COVID-19 may require quarantine for a period of time prior to returning to work.

Post-Discharge Care

Will I need to come in for a follow-up, or can that be done with telemedicine?

Your doctor will let you know if you need an in-person visit or if you can have a post-surgical follow-up visit by telephone or video.

I need bandages to dress my wound. What if I need care items that are not easy to get right now?

We can arrange a home care visit and provide you with the supplies you need.

What if I need post-operative rehabilitation or physical therapy?

Your care team will work with you to identify the most appropriate post-operative plan, specific to your surgery and individual needs. Options may range from home with self-care or skilled-care (nursing & therapy) to more intensive rehabilitation services in a skilled nursing facility, acute rehabilitation hospital or specialty hospital.

If your post-surgery needs are limited to outpatient physical, occupational, or speech therapy, you will be able to coordinate those visits on your own. Services may be provided in person or virtually from home based on your specific needs and goals.

Do I need to self-quarantine after surgery?

Quarantine is only necessary if you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or if you have tested positive.

Insurance

Since I scheduled my appointment or surgery, I lost my job and no longer have health insurance (or my insurance changed). What should I do?

We offer programs to help you determine the best options for your unique financial situation. If you have limited or no health insurance, or are on a fixed or limited income, you are encouraged to contact our financial advocates by calling 215-662-3505 or emailing patientfinancialadvocacy@uphs.upenn.edu.

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