20:11 PM

A message from Tom Jackiewicz, Keck Medicine CEO, May 1, 2020

I want to start this letter with the good news that Keck Hospital of USC earned an "A" grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog, in the spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. This rating places us among the safest hospitals in the United States and is a testament to the dedication of our physicians and staff, who continually make patient safety and well-being their top priority. This has certainly been on display in recent months as they have been fighting on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.

Our goal is to be a leader in providing the safest care during the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep our patients and clinical teams safe, our leadership team has developed new protocols as we start to open up some clinical care services such as pre-operative care, imaging studies and ambulatory visits. We have expanded our testing capabilities and increased the number of testing locations for all our patients.

With this in mind, here is an update on how we are making sure you get all your health care needs met:

Some surgeries and procedures are being rescheduled in the coming weeks. If you have a procedure or surgery that was delayed due to COVID-19, you can expect to hear from your Keck Medicine health care provider soon. Likewise, you are free to reach out to us at (800) USC-CARE as these services are a priority for rescheduling. Some doctors are also starting to schedule preventive screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies. Please consult with your doctor to decide the timing of any routine or annual exams and to make the decision that is right for you.

We can handle your urgent care needs. Keck Medicine operates an Evaluation and Treatment Clinic (ETC) at Keck Hospital of USC that offers urgent, non-emergency services to treat medical issues such as a urinary tract infection or a complication from a chronic illness. ETC visits are by appointment. Your Keck Medicine-affiliated care provider will refer you to the ETC, where staff has access to your medical records as well as to laboratory and radiographic equipment so you can have lab work done or get an MRI, CT scan or X-ray. The ETC is open 24 hours a day and staffed by either an emergency medicine or internal medicine physician.

We are making telemedicine even easier. Many of our patients are experiencing great success having virtual visits with their care providers. If you have any questions about how to schedule your first telemedicine appointment, we have created a page on our website to guide you, complete with tutorials on how to set up the USC TeleCARE platform on your computer or smartphone. All Keck Medicine health care providers are credentialed to practice telemedicine to ensure we can serve you as quickly and safely as possible. Call (800) USC-CARE, and one of our representatives will help schedule your virtual visit with your doctor.

If the COVID-19 pandemic were a baseball game, you could say that we are experiencing something of a seventh inning stretch. While there are a few more innings to go, we are beginning to see an end in sight to the uncertainty of the last few months. So please continue to use social distancing, wash your hands frequently and wear a face mask when out in public. The safer we can all stay, the sooner we can all get back to normal, even if the new "normal" may look a little different than it used to.

I continue to wish you and your loved ones the best.

Tom Jackiewicz

CEO, Keck Medicine of USC