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Blanchfield Army Community Hospital adjusts schedules for COVID-19 preparations

Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH)Fort Campbell, KY – Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) services will adjust until the coronavirus, COVID-19, is no longer a threat to the Fort Campbell communities in order to continue to protect patients and personnel as well as equipping personnel across the organization with necessary skills to screen and care for potential COVID-19 patients.

Currently BACH has adjusted its visitor process, pharmacy services, routine appointments and surgical services.


Screening process for all individuals

At this time, the hospital remains open for scheduled services and has implemented a brief health screening for anyone entering the hospital or outlying clinics.

The screening has moved quickly in most cases but beneficiaries and staff should allow for additional time when arriving for a scheduled appointment.

The hospital’s A Building remains open 24/7 and the C entrance is open from 6:00am to 10:00pm, seven days a week. The Emergency Center remains open 24/7.

The new system is based off guidance from the CDC recommending that healthcare facilities screen patients and visitors for symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing) before entering a healthcare facility.

Screening process for COVID-19 related symptoms

BACH established a by-appointment, drive-up screening station, which will expand capabilities in the coming days. A temporary tent was setup and more tents are expected to be in place this week to support the appointment-only COVID-19 drive-up screening process.

Performing initial screening outside the hospital helps reduce the health risk to beneficiaries, visitors, staff and family members. Patients will be able to remain in their vehicles as the screening process is performed. This process helps limit the spread of possible infection and contact within the Fort Campbell community.

Continued guidance

Currently according to the CDC, anyone contracting a respiratory illness should not assume it is the novel coronavirus; however, patients with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should seek medical care.

If you are feeling ill, the best course of action is to call before coming in to reduce the risk to yourself and others. Beneficiaries can contact the Nurse Advice Line (NAL) at MHSNurseAdviceLine.com for a web or video chat, or call 1.800.TRICARE (874.2273), option 1.

Beneficiaries can call the hospital’s Appointment Line at 270.798.4677 or 931.431.4677, Monday – Friday from 6:00am to 4:30pm. Medical staff will ask questions about symptoms, contact with individuals affected by the virus and travel history. Beneficiaries who meet the criteria for testing will be given specific instructions on where to go.

Routine appointments rescheduled

BACH personnel are reviewing appointments scheduled from March 23rd on and will reschedule non-urgent outpatient appointments. Additionally, hospital personnel are reviewing TRICARE Online appointments.

“By rescheduling appointments, we will decrease the amount of traffic through our medical services and reduce exposure of patients exhibiting COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or other disease symptoms to our beneficiaries,” said Col. Patrick T. Birchfield, hospital commander.

“This will also allow our healthcare team time to care for urgent medical needs and make preparations to care for potential COVID-19 patients. We will make every attempt to conduct your appointment telephonically,”  Col. Birchfield stated.

Rescheduling elective surgeries

Beginning Thursday, March 19th, only urgent and emergent surgical procedures as well as surgical procedures on Active Duty Soldiers will be performed. Active Duty Soldiers whose surgical procedures should be completed within two months to prevent the risk of further medical complications will continue. This will allow them to continue supporting their readiness mission.

Rescheduling elective surgeries allow conservation of medical supplies needed for potential COVID-19 (Coronavirus) patients and allow BACH providers to focus on the critical care medicine associated with COVID-19.

Visitors limited

In order to limit exposure for patients, staff and for the community, the hospital has adjusted its visitor policy to two visitors, age 18 and older for inpatients, and one escort if required to accompany patients to appointments. For their safety, BACH recommends no visitors or escorts age 60 and older because they may be at higher risk for severe illness.

“This is not a decision made lightly. While we understand the importance of family support during hospitalization, preventing or limiting the new coronavirus requires us to temporarily adjust our visiting policy in order to keep our patients and visitors safe from infection.”


Pharmacies shift to drop off/pick up only service

BACH is following the latest national guidance in social distancing with limiting groups to 10 people to stop the spread of the coronavirus, BACH’s pharmacies at Fort Campbell will be following the social distancing national guidance by converting all pharmacies to Drop Off and Pick-Up services only.

The Pharmacy team’s goal is to have all prescriptions ready for pickup, two hours after you check in at the window. Please ensure the pharmacy team has your contact information on file so they can contact you with any questions.

Additional options are for beneficiaries to use Express Scripts Home Delivery or visiting a TRICARE Network Pharmacy.

“Thank you for your support and patience during this unprecedented time. We will continue to take proactive steps, working alongside our military and community partners in accordance with the guidance from the CDC and the Department of Defense to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the virus, while maintaining our vital military healthcare and readiness missions. As this time, the situation is rapidly evolving so we will continue to share updates and appreciate your cooperation, commitment, patience and support,” Birchfield said.

Beneficiaries can learn more about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by visiting the CDC website at www.cdc.gov


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