Keeping Our Heart Patients Safe
SEPTEMBER 08, 2020
Q. Is it safe to have a cardiovascular visit or procedure right now?
A. Yes. The CVI takes many precautions to ensure your safety leading up to, during, and following your visit or procedure.
Dhruv Kazi, MD, Director of the BIDMC Cardiac Critical Care Unit, reminds patients that it's essential not to delay cardiovascular care. "Disruptions in elective and urgent cardiac procedures can lead to the development of emergencies or long-term problems," explains Kazi. "We want to make sure that patients are getting the elective treatments and procedures they need to stay healthy and avoid serious complications. Early treatments for arrhythmias or heart-valve disorders, for example, can help reduce the risk of future strokes or heart failure. And the hospital has put in place a wide range of procedures to keep patients and healthcare workers safe during this period. A lot of effort and coordination has gone into ensuring that our patients can continue to expect the same high-quality life-saving care during the pandemic as we were providing before."
One of our patients shared the experience of undergoing a heart procedure during the pandemic. Read his story here.
Q. How do I know that my physician and the medical staff don't have COVID-19?
A. BIDMC requires all staff members — doctors, nurses, technicians, aides and support staff — to complete a form before every single work shift to confirm that they do not have any symptoms associated with COVID-19. If any staff member reports symptoms, they must leave work and cannot return to the medical center until they have undergone testing and medical evaluation and are fully recovered. All of our staff members wear multiple levels of PPE during any patient contact.
Q. How do you separate procedural patients with COVID-19 from other patients?
A. Patients admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay with COVID-19 continue to be separated from non-COVID patients.
Q. Can I bring someone with me on the day of my procedure?
A. Your care team can give you more information about whether someone can come with you. In the event a patient needs a family member or escort for physical, medical or another necessary reason, we will make every effort to accommodate them. Escorts will be evaluated for symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival at the hospital and will be required to wear a surgical mask or face covering at all times. If the escort has any symptoms or has had a recent diagnosis of COVID-19, the person will not be allowed to enter the medical center. View our current visitor policies to learn more.
Q. Could I schedule a virtual visit if I have additional questions?
A. Yes. The CVI offers telehealth appointments by phone or video for both new and existing patients. Additionally, some pre and post procedure appointments can be conducted remotely. Any time you have questions or concerns, please contact the CVI at 617-667-8800 to arrange a telehealth appointment with a cardiologist or cardiology nurse practitioner.