We are excited to welcome you back to NMC to take care of your healthcare needs through outpatient and elective procedures! Thank you to everyone who helped our corner of Vermont by staying home and staying safe during the last few months. As we re-open our doors, please remember that our priority is the health and safety of you, our staff, families and neighbors and it takes everyone’s cooperation to stay protected. Below you’ll find some reminders, new routines we have in place when visiting the hospital and some commonly asked questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Please don’t put off your healthcare needs.

While all our lives have been on hold for a little while, it is important, as we now safely come together, to no longer put off outpatient and elective procedures recommended by your provider. Little problems now can become big problems later if they’re not taken care of or delayed for too long. Taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best kinds of preventive medicine.

You have choices.

In addition to restarting safe in-person care, we offer the option of telemedicine appointments with your same trusted provider through several of our practices. So whether transportation is an issue or you don’t want to expose others to your symptoms, you can be assured that we are still here to take care of you. And, as always, you can call your NMC provider if you have any questions.

Is it safe to come in to NMC?

Yes. NMC has put in place all the necessary processes to make in-person care safe for you and your loved ones, including:  

  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfection of all our spaces. Cleanliness has always been something we’ve taken pride in and we now clean even more frequently.
  • Social distancing measures. We have re-organized all our waiting spaces to ensure proper, six-foot distancing between patients and staff.  
  • Screening. We screen all patients, visitors, staff and vendors who enter our facilities.  
  • Masks. Cloth face coverings are required for patients entering our facilities. Staff working with patients also wear proper Personal Protective Equipment.  
  • Ongoing attentiveness. NMC is committed to staying up-to-date on clinical guidelines from health experts. We are here for you.  
 
 

In-person medical appointments

  • We are now contacting patients who had appointments delayed because of COVID-19. We will be rescheduling those appointments in phases, please be patient as we rebuild our new schedules. 
  • We are currently scheduling fewer in person appointments each day than we normally would. Greater spacing allows us the time to clean and disinfect between patients.
  • Our patient access team will give you all the information you need when your appointment is rescheduled, giving you the chance to ask any questions or raise your concerns.
  • We will reach out to you the day before your in-person appointment. During this phone call, you will be asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions. 
  • If you screen as “negative,” in other words not having COVID-19 symptoms, you are ready for your appointment. On the day of your appointment, you will be screened again to make sure nothing has changed.
  • If you answer yes and screen positive for COVID-19 symptoms, your provider will determine if an in-person visit is necessary.
  • If so, your provider will work with you on when and how your visit can happen safely.
  • It is important that you are straight-forward regarding your symptoms.
  • If new symptoms arise after the initial screening, please call the office before coming in.
  • Please wear a cloth face covering when you come in for your appointment. If you do not have one, ask about where to get one during your scheduling phone call. 
  • Arrive alone to your appointment, unless special assistance is needed. For pediatric and prenatal patients, only one accompanying support person is allowed. 
  • Upon arrival, you (and your support person, if applicable) will be asked the COVID-19 screening questions again to ensure nothing has changed.
  • You will have your temperature taken. 
  • If the questions or your temperature are concerning, you will meet with a clinical staff member to determine how to proceed. 
 

Surgeries & other procedures

  • NMC’s surgeons will be prioritizing individual cases to appropriately move through the backlog of elective surgeries and procedures. This will be done systematically based on criteria that include the patient’s health risks, relative medical necessity, the timing of the original appointment, and related factors. At this time, only certain outpatient and inpatient surgeries and procedures are being restarted based on the guidance provided by the state.
  • You will receive a phone call to reschedule your procedure or surgery.
  • You will need to have a pre-op COVID-19 test and NMC will let you know when that COVID test is scheduled to happen.
  • To get your COVID-19 test, you will come to NMC’s Curbside Testing Center, located at Valley Crossroads on Fisher Pond Road at the intersection with Fairfield Street in St. Albans. Signage will direct how to get to the testing zone. Your nasal swab will be conducted while you are in your vehicle.
  • After your test, you will quarantine at home to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 after testing. Find out more about home quarantine here.
  • You will then get a call from your surgeon’s office with your test results. If the tests are negative, you’ll move ahead with your surgery.
  • NMC will call you once again to confirm your COVID test is complete (and negative), and ask questions to prepare for your procedure.
  • Use the Medical Office Building entrance at the front of our campus. Parking is available directly in front of the building. 
  • When you enter, you will be asked a series of COVID-related screening questions.
  • Don’t forget your mask! You’ll need to wear a mask when in our building. 
  • NMC has a restricted visitation policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be allowed a single visitor, with certain limitations. Read the full policy here.
  • If the test positively indicates COVID-19, you will be referred to your primary care for follow-up. Your appointment, procedure or surgery will be rescheduled.
  • While COVID-19 testing is not perfect, and does result in small numbers of false positives, we will treat all positive results the same, and reschedule your appointment. We do this in the interest of safety for all.
 

Blood draws & outpatient lab services

  • Starting June 1, the outpatient lab will be open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The Outpatient Lab is located in the Medical Office Building. We relocated temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re back home! 
  • NMC is committed to the safety of our patients and community. Based on the Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidelines, everyone entering the facility will be asked a series of questions to screen for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Appropriate social distancing will be maintained in all our waiting areas.
  • Patients are encouraged to bring their personal cloth or surgical mask and must wear a mask within the facility. If you do not have a mask, we will do our best to provide one for you.
On June 1, the NMC Lab will begin offering patients the opportunity to preregister and reserve a time slot for lab work. Here’s how this process works:
  • To pre-register, call 802-524-1070 on weekdays between the hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm, and choose option #1 to speak with a scheduling representative. Reservations are limited to within the next 24-hour period.
  • Any changes in wait times will be communicated via text messaging.
  • Please arrive at the Medical Office Building approximately 10 minutes prior to your reserved time. Priority for laboratory services will be given to pre-registered patients.
  • Patients are welcome to drop-in for services at the Outpatient Lab, but we recommend making a reservation in advance.
  • Keep in mind that priority for laboratory services will be given to pre-registered patients.
  • Because of the drop-in nature of healthcare services offered in the Medical Office Building, it is possible that we have larger-than-expected numbers waiting for service.
  • In the event that more patients arrive than can be screened or safely accommodated in waiting areas, you can either return at another time, or wait in your vehicle.
  • If you choose to wait outside, we will send you a text message when it is time to enter the building.
  • If you would like to wait, but cannot do so in your vehicle or cannot use a cell phone, we can accommodate that. Please ask for help at registration.