File Description: 

This email was sent on 6.3.2020 to a referring physician audience and explains Duke has measures and precautions in place to provide safe care to patients referred to Duke Health. Uploaded 06.03.20

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File Content: 

Dear Colleague, 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve locally, we are increasingly concerned about patients electing to defer care because of concerns about disease transmission in health care facilities.  The past several months have prepared us to safely manage patients in our inpatient and outpatient environments, develop testing algorithms designed to mitigate risk, and ensure that we have sufficient PPE for our team members. 

As a clinician who refers patients to Duke Health, we want to assure you that we are prepared and available for your patients and are taking every precaution to provide safe care for all of our patients, prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, and meet the needs of patients who have delayed care. 

Our safety measures include:

  • Implementing universal testing protocols for patients undergoing surgical and non-operative procedures in our hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers
  • Screening every person (patients, visitors, staff) with temperature check and a symptom inventory before entering our clinical facilities
  • Requiring staff, patients, and visitors to wear face masks at all times
  • Operating dedicated respiratory care centers so people with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms can be seen in separate facilities than people with other health care needs
  • Implementing additional protocols to keep COVID-19-positive patients separate from the rest of the hospitalized patient population 
  • Restricting the number of visitors in our facilities
  • Leveraging our telehealth capabilities whenever possible, carefully identifying patients whose health care needs can be adequately addressed in a phone or video visit with their physician in lieu of an in-person visit

With these measures and other precautions firmly in place, we are confident we can continue to provide safe, medically necessary, and timely care to patients you refer to Duke Health. We encourage you to continue using your regular process to refer patients—by phone, fax, or via MedLink at
For more information on individual facility hours and restrictions, visit

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.  


Joseph G. Rogers, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Duke University Health System

David E. Attarian, MD, FACS
Chief Medical Officer, Private Diagnostic Clinic