Patient EducationJul | 2 | 2021
Mass General Gastroenterology Patients Receive Care During COVID-19
- As we return to our usual state of operations, we continue to put proper measures in place to keep patients and staff safe. Patients are encouraged to continue their care as recommended. Clinicians are available for in-person appointments in our clinic, or for virtual visits
- Our endoscopy practices are open across all sites at Blake 4, Charles River Plaza, Danvers and Waltham. We continue to take enhanced measures to ensure safety
- All asymptomatic patients undergoing colonoscopy/lower GI procedures will no longer require testing for COVID-19 prior to the procedure
- Routine lab testing and radiology exams are being performed at Mass General and our affiliates
TO: Massachusetts General Hospital Gastroenterology Patients and Families
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mass General Gastroenterology is continuing to provide care for our patients. We recommend that our patients keep their scheduled clinic and procedure appointments and do not postpone their gastrointestinal care. We are also seeing new patients for consultation both in-person and by virtual visit. Most routine lab testing and radiology exams can be scheduled and performed. Our clinicians are available during normal business hours in both clinic and endoscopy.
In endoscopy, we are working to schedule all patients who had been formerly deferred, and also schedule any patients who have a procedure request ordered by your primary care physician. Patients undergoing EGD/Upper GI endoscopy, interventional procedures as well as intubation and other airway management maneuvers will be asked to have a nasal swab PCR COVID test 48-72 hours prior to their procedure. Please keep in mind that testing is required even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Patients can get tested at any of our Mass General Brigham sites and log into Patient Gateway to schedule.
As we continue to make progress with vaccination coverage and declining community prevalence of COVID-19, public health guidance and state/local regulations are adjusting as well. We are here to care for you and have taken every step to further ensure your safety.
We are asking all patients to please keep your endoscopy procedure appointments as scheduled in order to preserve this timeline of testing prior to procedure. If you are unable to keep your procedure appointment, please let us know at least one week in advance so that we can offer that appointment slot to another patient.
In-person care is safe at Mass General GI and we encourage patients to keep their appointments as recommended by their 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
- Pre-procedural COVID testing for all patients undergoing an upper GI endoscopy or EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) and interventional procedures including ERCP and EUS
- Direct admission to the exam room for in-person clinic patients to avoid the office waiting room
- Direct admission to the pre-procedure bay for endoscopy upon arrival to avoid the waiting room
- One escort per patient will be allowed to come directly up to the unit to pick up patients
- All patients, visitors and staff are required to wear a surgical mask while in the building. You will be given a mask when you enter the building
- All patients and escorts will be screened for COVID symptoms at check in by Unit Coordinators
If you have any questions for your GI provider, please use Patient Gateway as the most direct and efficient manner to contact your care team.
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The Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Gastroenterology offers comprehensive, cutting-edge care for patients with all types of digestive diseases, from heartburn to organ failure.