Key Takeaways

  • While medical practice is considered an “essential service” we have modified our practice to minimize the risk of exposing our patients and staff to COVID-19
  • To avoid delays in care, the Mass General Digestive Healthcare Center clinics and endoscopy unit are open. Our clinicians are available to see new and established patients in person or by virtual visits. We are seeing endoscopy patients as needed at the recommendation of your physician
  • Virtual visits use either your smart phone or personal computer so you may see and speak to your clinician without coming to the clinic in person
  • Routine lab testing and radiology exams are being performed at Mass General and our affiliates

TO: Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center Patients and Families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mass General Digestive Healthcare Center (DHC) is open and providing general and surgical care for our patients. We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure office visits and procedures (endoscopy and surgery) are welcoming and safe.

We recommend that our patients keep their scheduled clinic and/or surgical appointments and do not postpone their care, unless recommended by your physician. We are also seeing new patients for consultation. Most routine lab testing and radiology exams can be scheduled and performed. Our clinicians are available during normal clinic sessions, and also on a limited basis in our endoscopy units. 

Several of our secretaries, medical assistants, nurses and doctors are working from home and some outpatient clinic visits have been changed to “virtual visit” clinic appointments. Virtual visits are also called telehealth visits and are being used to promote physical distancing. They use either your smartphone or a personal computer so you may see and speak to your clinician. Telephone appointments can be arranged when a smartphone connection is not possible.

If you have any questions for your DHC provider, please use Patient Gateway as the most direct and efficient manner to contact your care team.

Our Commitment to Your Safety

For those who require in-person office, surgical or procedural care, at the recommendation of your provider, we have taken the necessary precautions to ensure our space is safe for both staff and patients. Below is an overview of our efforts:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of our facilities
  • Patients and staff are screened for symptoms and exposures each day
  • Reduced volume of patients to allow physical distancing
  • Staggered arrival times to prevent patients from coming in contact with others
  • Direct admission to the exam room for clinic patients to avoid the waiting room
  • Direct admission to the pre-procedure bay for endoscopy upon arrival to avoid the waiting room
  • After procedures, patients will be brought to the front door by our staff to be picked up by their escort

What Do I Do if my Surgery Was Postponed?

Mass General decided to delay elective surgeries in order to conserve resources for COVID-19 care and ensure the safety of our patients and all those at the hospital. Though the name implies that “elective” means the surgery is by choice, that is not necessarily true. Elective surgeries are ones planned in advance, such as cosmetic surgeries, bariatric surgery and joint replacement surgeries.

However, we are now available and prepared to resume operations and see you at the hospital, either in person or virtually (online). We can help you decide which type of care is most appropriate for your situation.

Endoscopic Procedures During COVID-19