By Robbie McKay Lincoln News • April 2, 2020
MILLINOCKET – As the state and nation reel from the Corona virus outbreak, Millinocket Regional Hospital has shared information with the public on directions to follow to minimize the spread to local communities.
Bob Peterson, Chief Executive Officer for MRH, released new information Tuesday afternoon accompanied by a message for the Katahdin region.
“While the numbers remain low, do not let your guard down – even for a second. Handwashing and social distancing must be in play for weeks – it’s the only way to slow this down, Peterson said. “We absolutely expect to see cases here at MRH – it’s not a matter of “if”, it’s “when”. So while we are fortunate to be working and open for business now, changes will happen as patients present, ” he said.
As the need for medical care grows, MRH has set up strict guidelines as to the contact of their medical facilities to ensure the least amount of virus transmission is achieved. Katie Mackin, Marketing Coordinator at MRH, has shared the following information.
“Due to the COVID-19 precautions, we have temporarily changed the way we are seeing patients to optimize your safety. Patients needing to be seen for a sick or acute visit will be scheduled at our Primary Care practice located at the lower Main Entrance of Millinocket Regional Hospital. Patients needing to be scheduled for a routine visit, follow up appointment, physical or well-child exam, will be scheduled at our Family Medicine location at the top of Poplar Street,” Mackin said. “We are going to try our best to keep you with your designated provider, however, we ask for your flexibility during this time. If you would prefer to reschedule your visit, we will support you. Telephone visits are also an option,” she said.
MRH has just opened a telephone triage line Monday through Friday, 8a.m. – 5 p.m. (447-4190; the state’s hotline number is 211). People should use this dedicated line to determine their proper plan of care. Individuals who are symptomatic yet at low risk of complications will be asked to quarantine at home while monitoring their symptoms for any worsening that might require a visit to the facility. Missy Martin, RN, VP of Quality, explained
”Patients that are determined to be at moderate risk for complications and//or who meet criteria for definitive diagnosis with testing, will be directed to one of our “by referral and appointment only” COVID-19 evaluation sites.” said Martin. “Patients should not show up at any of our sites without first receiving instruction from our staff,” she said.
Martin also said that those patients that are considered high risk for complications from the virus will be advised to go to the hospital.
Peterson said the MRH community stands ready and prepared to meet the public’s needs. While many people will want to be tested, CDC guidelines are limiting testing to symptomatic and high risk individuals. But as the need for testing increases, MRH has a plan in place to move testing to an off-site outside area that will become active if the need arises. He offered words of encouragement to everyone.
“This outbreak is nothing to take lightly, but we are prepared to professionally and successfully meet this challenge,” he said.
To keep informed as information becomes available, you can visit MRH’s website at mrhme.org.
About Millinocket Regional Hospital
Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital nestled at the base of Baxter State Park that provides vital healthcare services to those who live, work and play in the Katahdin Region. Beyond the friendly staff and award-winning patient care, MRH provides an impressive range of specialty and general services; with a recent expansion resulting in the addition of eight new specialties and a Walk-In Care facility. In 2018, MRH was awarded the Press Ganey ‘Guardian of Excellence Award’ for exceptional patient experience; a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement for hospitals who consistently perform within the top 5%. Providing jobs to approximately 250 people, MRH is the largest employer in the Katahdin Region and a crucial economic driver within its community. For more information, please visit www.mrhme.org or www.facebook.com/MillinocketRegionalHospital