Cascade Medical reopens most services with safety measures in place

Dr. Raiche, family practice physician

Cascade Medical announced today it will reopen most outpatient services, including physical therapy and diagnostic imaging, with extra precautions in place so patients can feel supported and safe.

“This is great news for patients who have delayed everyday healthcare due to COVID-19,” CEO Diane Blake. “Safety is our top priority. Our team has gone above and beyond to ensure that we are following best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health.”

The decision follows Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation May 18 that allows non-urgent medical and dental procedures. In early March, those services were postponed while hospitals focused their efforts on preparing for the pandemic.

Healthcare facilities statewide are welcoming back patients with better stores of supplies and equipment, widespread testing capability, and better capacity to provide a safe environment for everyone. Here's a list of safety measures Cascade Medical is taking to maintain a safe and clean environment for care.

At Cascade Medical, newly opened services include:

  • All Family Practice Clinic appointments, including behavioral health, chronic condition management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • 3D Mammography>
  • DEXA Bone Scan
  • Post-surgical or inpatient rehabilitation

Most appointments are available in-person or over telehealth, which allows patients to visit with their care team over a device with an internet connection, such as a smartphone or computer. Cascade Medical also offers financial assistance and help with insurance enrollment.

“We want patients to feel empowered knowing that they can choose how they interact with their care team, whether it’s with telehealth or in person,” Blake said. “If you’re unsure whether you need an appointment, your care team would be happy to talk to you about it.”

For in-person visits, the check-in process looks different, but it was designed with safety and efficiency in mind. A staff member will greet all patients at the main entrance for a quick screening. The staff member will:

  • Ask about concerning symptoms
  • Check temperature with a no-touch scanner
  • Provide hand sanitizer and a medical-grade procedure mask for people to wear while they’re in the building

The Washington State Hospital Association recommends that all patients and visitors wear masks to contain any germs expelled as people cough, sneeze or talk. Most healthcare facilities are complying with this best-practice recommendation, including Cascade Medical.

Cascade Medical is also implementing other safety measures:

  • Providing separate treatment areas for people with COVID-like symptoms to ensure that everyone has a safe environment to receive care.
  • Encouraging social distancing with reminders of safe distances and protective barriers.
  • Limiting visitors and guests
  • Frequent disinfection of common and high-touch items, like door handles, elevator buttons and counters.

“It’s important to us that our patients have all the tools they need to live a healthy life,” Blake said. “We are confident that everything is in place to ensure we can provide that care safely.”