FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham is suspending inpatient care services following the attempted removal of a bat colony that has taken up residence in the walls of the hospital, according to Gretchen Kelly, Director of Public Relations for FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
The decision to suspend inpatient services is following a period of extensive efforts by Get Bats Out, a professional bat removal service, and a consultation with TJC (The Joint Commission), Kelly said. TJC is an independent, not-for-profit organization, which accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the United States.
The nine current inpatients who are expected to need inpatient care beyond Saturday morning are being transported Friday evening by FirstHealth EMS staff to a hospital of their choice. FirstHealth administration and medical staff are coordinating patient transfers with area hospitals.
The hospital emergency department will continue to provide services to patients who present themselves, but patients being transported by ambulances will be taken directly to another area hospital. While the hospital will continue to provide diagnostic services necessary to support patients in the emergency department, scheduled outpatient diagnostic procedures will be postponed or re-scheduled at other area hospitals, according to Kelly.
Some of the hospital employees scheduled to work this Saturday and Sunday in areas of Richmond Memorial temporarily closed are being offered the opportunity to work at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, in Pinehurst.
Hospital officials stated that their primary concern is for “the safety and well-being of our patients, families, visitors, and employees. We are making every effort to accommodate all those affected by this event.”
It is not yet known when inpatient care services will resume.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.