Flu incidence declines, changes visitor restrictions at Mission Health

Press release

From Mission Health

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 22, 2013) – Mission Health is lifting visitor restrictions from “restricted” to “limited” in response to a decreased influenza (flu) incidence over the past month. Mission Health is asking that family and friends, particularly children under age 12 and people who do not feel well, limit their visitations to patients in the hospital. Mission Health has implemented this precaution at Mission Hospital in Asheville and all Mission Health member hospitals in western North Carolina: McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and Angel Medical Center in Franklin.

“We are pleased to report the incidence of flu has significantly declined since December, when we originally restricted visitation,” said Dale Fell, MD, Senior Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer of Mission Health. “We continue to advise friends and family to be thoughtful when planning hospital visits to help minimize the spread of influenza among patients. The health and safety of our patients is paramount as we work toward achieving our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”

Limiting visitation is a precaution often taken during flu season when flu activity reaches an identified level. Further restrictions may be implemented or recommended should the flu activity level increase again.

All visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after visiting. Hand sanitizing stations are available at hospital entrances and throughout the buildings. People who have not yet received the influenza vaccine are urged to do so immediately, and to ensure their children have been vaccinated.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. In 2012 Mission Health was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates five hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in over 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health. Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 730 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care and is the busiest surgical hospital in North Carolina.

It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital– the region’s only children’s hospital. Other Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org


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