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Newsroom / SSM Health cautions individuals not to delay medical care

SSM Health cautions individuals not to delay medical care

Universal masking and other protocols in place to ensure patients can safely seek care and protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19

May 08, 2020 by SSM Health

ST. LOUIS, MO  –  SSM Health hospitals, physician offices and urgent cares remain open and ready to provide safe, high-quality care. This includes resuming some elective surgeries and procedures, with an initial focus on patients who have delayed non-urgent but essential treatments. While the threat of COVID-19 continues, the health system strongly encourages patients not to postpone care, particularly individuals with chronic illnesses, urgent or emergency conditions, as well as those needing biopsies and other diagnostic procedures.

“We know many people are delaying essential care due to fear of infection,” said Matt Hanley, MD, SSM Health Chief Clinical Officer. “While it’s natural to be concerned, not seeking care could negatively impact their overall health and well-being. We want our patients and communities to know they can safely seek medical care and still protect themselves.”
Here are some of the ways SSM Health is keeping its patients, visitors and caregivers safe:

  • Screening/testing of all patients prior to their scheduled procedures
  • Enhanced cleaning/disinfection processes in our clinics, hospitals and surgery centers
  • Realigned waiting room seating to ensure appropriate physical distancing
  • Visitor restrictions to limit unnecessary traffic in our facilities
  • Entrance screenings for all employees, patients and visitors to our facilities; hand sanitation is also required
In addition, beginning Monday, May 11, all employees, patients and visitors will be required to wear masks or other face coverings when they enter our facilities. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own cloth face coverings with them to an SSM Health facility. If they do not, we will offer a cloth face covering to them as supplies allow. We will supply a mask on their first visit and ask that they launder and reuse it on future visits. With this new policy, the need for additional masks is even greater. Learn more about the donation process for anyone interested in donating cloth masks. 

For many patients, it’s possible to see their physician (and even obtain needed prescriptions) without leaving their home – through a telehealth visit that most insurance plans cover. Some in-office appointments are also available. For example, physicians don’t want children to fall behind on vaccines and risk exposure to measles and other diseases.
New and existing SSM Health patients who’d like to schedule a telehealth visit should call their provider or visit

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