Madison hospitals: Urge patients to address all important healthcare needs during COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. – COVID 19 has impacted how UW Health, SSM Health and UnityPoint Health ‒ Meriter are operating; but all Madison hospitals remain ready to assist the community with their emergent healthcare needs during this time. While it remains important that the public call ahead to their doctors if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the staff in each of the Madison area emergency departments are able to safely treat patients with urgent healthcare issues. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, stroke or other serious medical event, come to the emergency department or call 911.

Additionally, all Madison hospitals are slowly resuming patient procedures that were postponed at the onset of this crisis. The postponement of these procedures and non-urgent surgeries was taken with the health and safety of patients and staff in mind.  That same patient focus is exactly why Madison hospitals are now making changes to safely increase the access to vital services.

  • Postponements cannot continue indefinitely for most patients, and the urgency or necessity of procedures requires that we move to accommodate patient needs to avoid complications and improve their quality of life
  • After weeks of handling COVID-19 positive patients under new protocols, we have confirmed our ability to isolate and treat positive patients without putting others at risk
  • Our improved COVID-19 testing capabilities and pre-op screening process further improves safety for patients and staff

We are still very far from returning to business as usual. Requirements for social distancing, self-monitoring and PPE conservation remain in place and are not expected to change in the coming days.

But while the COVID-19 response will continue, we currently have the ability to safely address more of our patients’ health care needs than we did a few weeks ago, and that is a positive development.

Interviews and video are available upon request.