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Penn Highlands adds more safety precautions and virtual visits


DuBois, PA – Penn Highlands Healthcare is preparing for an influx of patients as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country. In the meanwhile, they’ve made some updates to keep patients and employees even safer.

For example, in addition to some precautions that were already in place, now there is a dedicated waiting area in the parking lot so you can wait for appointments in your car until your provider is ready to see you.

You can also have a virtual visit with a doctor through MyDocNow on the MyHelpNow app for virtual doctor visits. The app is available for iPhone and Android users. The first step would be to call your doctor’s office for an appointment. Then, download the MyHealthNow app or go to Make an account, then choose the MyDocNow icon. Have your virtual visit with your doctor, then follow up with the appropriate treatment.

Healthcare facilities are still open for anyone who has other health concerns, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Norman, the chief operations officer, says there are lot of people to thank, including all employees for their tireless work and to the community for the generous donations.

At this time, although they have an adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks and gowns, they are still accepting donations of useful medical supplies and PPE.

One of the most useful ways to help is to donate blood through the Community Blood Bank.

Update on March 31, 2020, on preparations and precautions for COVID-19 at Penn Highlands Healthcare. Hear from COO Mark Norman and COVID-19 task force leader Dr. Shaun Sheehan.

No day-to-day visitors will be allowed at the hospitals.

The exceptions to restrictions:

SURGERY: Many surgical patients require a driver. One companion may accompany any patient having an outpatient surgical procedure. The patient’s companion will be directed to a waiting area and may stay until briefed by a provider or staff member after completion of the case.

CANCER CENTERS: If you are the companion of a patient receiving cancer treatment, you will be directed to a waiting area and may stay until the completion of the patient’s treatment.

NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT (NICU): Only the baby’s mother and caregiver may enter the NICU.

MATERNITY: Mothers having a baby may be accompanied by one companion.

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT: If you are seeking emergency care, one companion may accompany you, if needed, during the visit. The hospital ER may ask you to wait in your vehicle in the hospital parking lot or at an off-site location of your choice if your loved one doesn’t require your presence. In this case we will obtain your companion’s phone number to contact them when your emergency department visit is completed. In the circumstance of a minor, child or senior citizen, the companion may stay.

OUTPATIENT SERVICES: One companion is permitted, if the patient needs assistance.

END OF LIFE CARE: Visitors may be permitted.

NURSING HOME/SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES: Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor and Penn Highlands Elk Pinecrest Manor are restricting all visitors. (End of Life Care: Visitors may be permitted)

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not go immediately to the hospital. Call your primary care doctor first to discuss the severity of your symptoms and what to do. In many cases, it can be treated at home.

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