If there is one thing that Forks Community Hospital and its partner clinics want you the public to know at this time, it is that it has never been safer to seek treatment from your health care provider and/or FCH.
In an interview with the Forks Forum, FCH’s new CEO Heidi Anderson shared that staff at all facilities are working diligently to provide the safest, cleanest care offered anywhere. “Don’t be afraid to come to the hospital or the clinics, staff is working hard to assure safety. We want patients to seek care, don’t wait until you have to be seen in the emergency room,” Anderson said.
Administration, managers, employees and the Board of Commissioners have all been working hard to put procedures into place that keep all patients safe.
FCH encourages everyone to seek treatment for chronic and new health care needs that are either COVID or non-COVID related. A few of the ways FCH is working to ensure everyone can receive safe medical care are:
• All employees are screened daily by having their temperature taken and answering Department of Health questions.
• All patients are asked to wear masks, keeping staff, and other patients safe.
• All patients are cleared and vetted at the Central Check-in location between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; after 7 p.m. patients are vetted through the Emergency Department. Any patient that exhibits symptoms of influenza, COVID-19, pneumonia, strep throat, or other contagious viral and bacterial infections sees a provider in an alternative location. This keeps other patients, staff, and the possibly infected individual safe.
These patients are not treated in the clinic, allowed in waiting rooms. and are not permitted to enter locations other patients travel through in the hospital without a mask covering their mouth and nose.
The cafe is closed to every person with the exception of cafe employees. Cafe employees are screened prior to starting their shift each day, this ensures the food distributed to patients and staff is safe.
Pregnant mothers are in alternative waiting rooms and taken through alternative paths of entry into the hospital to ensure
they are not exposed to others.
All areas of the hospital are deep cleaned between visits and all areas and equipment are wiped down between uses.
There are no visitors allowed on campus at this time, this includes volunteers.
All buildings are locked and require patients to show that they have been vetted prior to being granted entry.
Both the hospital and Bogachiel Medical Clinics have special areas for patients who have symptoms of COVID to go to.
The COVID Response team meets multiple times a week to discuss new COVID items that may lead to the changing of plans/processes to ensure Forks Community Hospital and all associated clinics are operating using current information.
The hospital updates staff daily, ensuring everyone knows the most current information and are informed if a plan or process changes.
Anderson said the hospital and clinics are following CDC and Clallam County health guidelines.
“Our biggest concern is that people that are sick will wait and then use the emergency room for care when they really should have made an appointment with their regular health care provider,” Anderson said. “Thanks to a lot of hard work by the staff FCH has received awards two years in a row for proper cleanliness.”
Anderson said the hospital is looking forward to the possible opening of the surgery department soon.
“Don’t be scared, it is probably safer here than going to the store,” Anderson shared.
The hospital’s website is updated often and information on COVID-19 and other helpful links to important resources can be found there.