We are pleased to be able to take care of your healthcare needs through outpatient and elective procedures. All of us must continue to be attentive to transmission prevention as we do. 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 coming to the hospital and our provider practices and some commonly asked questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Please don’t put off your healthcare needs.
Now that proper safety processes are in place, it is important to follow through on the outpatient appointments and elective procedures recommended by your provider. Little problems now can become big problems later if they’re not taken care of or if care is 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 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. It is crucial that you are absolutely straightforward with our screeners about any symptoms you may have experienced. This allows us to ensure your care is provided properly, in a manner safe for you and for all involved.
- 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.
Concerned you may have Covid-19?
Call NMC’s Covid-19 Hotline at 802-752-1500 – Note: we are experiencing high volumes of calls.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath, respiratory symptoms) and are seeking medical advice, please call NMC’s COVID-19 Hotline at (802) 752-1500.
- As always, if you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
- If you have a primary care provider who is not employed by NMC, you can call their office.
- If you have general questions about the coronavirus, please call 211.
- A call to the COVID Hotline is a telephone office visit. Each caller is registered, assessed by a provider, given appropriate medical direction, and billed as a primary care office visit (insurance coverage is the same as an in-office visit).
- NMC providers are staffing this line Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm; Saturday from 8 am to 4:30 pm; and Sunday 9am to 3pm. If you have questions about your symptoms, please call us at 802-752-1500.
- The COVID Hotline will close at 4:30pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
- Please note that we are responding to a significant increase in calls to the hotline. We have expanded staffing levels and hours to help keep pace. There may be a 5-10 minute wait in the queue before your call is processed (in the order it was received). Thank you for your patience as we work through pressing questions from other callers – as we will with you.
Current visitation policy
With the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across Vermont, NMC has returned to the restricted visitation policy that was in place during the Spring of 2020. We know family members and loved ones play a key role in supporting and comforting those who are sick and ill, however, as we seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19, limitations are necessary.
Restarting on Friday, November 13, general visitation will not be allowed at NMC. An individual support person will be allowed access with a patient when specifically needed, such as for pediatric patients, expectant mothers, patients with cognitive disabilities, and patients at end of life. By reducing the number of people present in the hospital and other medical facilities, the risk for transmission is reduced and efforts to preserve access to necessary care are strengthened.
- General visitation is not currently allowed.
- An individual support person will be allowed access with a patient when specifically needed, such as for pediatric patients, expectant mothers, patients with cognitive disabilities, and patients at end of life.
- Approved individual support persons must be screened prior to entrance—and must have an absence of symptoms.
- Approved individual support persons must wear a face covering and are asked to bring their own.
- Approved individual support persons must be over the age of 18.
- Approved individual support persons must remain in the patient room when in the organization.
- The Emergency Department entrance can ONLY be used for Emergency Medicine services.
- All other patients/visitors must enter NMC through the Medical Office Building.
- The main hospital entrance is closed at this time.
- The Conference Center and Conference Center entrance is closed at this time.
- No visitors will be allowed in rooms of patients who are COVID-19 positive or with pending COVID-19 test results.
- Please speak to a Nurse Manager about visitation for a patient at end of life.
- For adults in out patient settings or the Emergency Department: General visitation is not currently allowed. Visitation will be facilitated through technology if possible. If required to facilitate decision making or access to care, one screened individual support persons may accompany a patient in these settings.
- For pediatric patients in outpatient settings or the Emergency Department: Patient may be accompanied by one screened individual support person (which may be a parent or another individual).
- For outpatient / ambulatory surgical patients: If required to facilitate the surgery, one screened Approved individual support person may accompany a patient.
- Progressive Care Unit: If required to facilitate decision making or access to care, one screened individual support person may accompany a patient
- Family Birth Center patients: One screened individual support person is allowed.
- Pediatric patients: One screened parent or support person is allowed.
- Patients at end-of-life: visitation is possible and is managed by the care team.
- All individual support persons should enter NMC through the Medical Office Building entrance.
Remember, visitors are expected to bring and wear a mask. Thank you for your cooperation in these safety efforts.
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.
- Progressive Care Unit: One screened visitor at a time.
- Family Birth Center patients: One screened support person.
- Pediatric patients: One screened parent or support person.
- Surgery (ambulatory): One screened person to escort.
- Patients at end-of-life: visitation managed by the care team.
- 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 of all.
Blood draws & outpatient lab services
- The outpatient lab is open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 4:30 pm. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday. We strongly encourage patients to call in advance for an appointment.
- 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.
- We recommend you make an appointment in advance. Walk-ins may be possible, but may come with a significant wait.
- To pre-register, call 802-524-1024 to speak with a scheduling representative.
- 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, so those without appointments may experience a significant wait.
- We strongly recommend patients schedule an appointment in advance for blood work. This assists with safe patient flow and makes for a more efficient visit, as we can prepare in advance for your arrival.
- While walk-ins are accepted, please keep in mind that priority is given to pre-registered patients. This means pre-registered appointments are faster and more efficient. Those without appointments may experience a significant wait.
- 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.