Mid-South hospitals change protocol amid coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19: What older adults need to know about the outbreak and staying healthy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several hospitals have announced changes to their protocols as the coronavirus spreads throughout the Mid-South and the nation.

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation

  • New visitor policy:
    • Any patient visitor with respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should stay home. Special circumstances may be considered.
    • Hospital recommends limiting the number of visitors to two.
    • Hospitals may screen visitors for signs and symptoms of infection.
    • Visitors to COVID-19 patients will be limited on a case-by-case basis.
  • Baptist Reynolds Hospice House:
    • No children under 14 years of age will be allowed entry.
    • One visitor per hospice patient after being screened when entering the building.
    • For patients within 1-3 days of end of life, we will allow one immediate family member at a time per patient. Other visitors must wait outside or in their vehicle, and cannot wait in the Hospice House, including the lobby. Staff will notify you when visitation can begin.
    • When visitation begins, the immediate family will still require to be screened.

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

  • Tent outside of Emergency Department – Le Bonheur has erected a tent outside of our Emergency Department. This tent is intended only to help facilitate existing screening procedures for those entering the hospital and is not a public drive-by screen location.
  • Postponing Elective Surgery – Le Bonheur is limiting all elective surgeries and certain clinic appointments, along with selective tests and procedures. We will continue to collaborate with our surgeons and physicians on this process. If a patient’s appointment, surgery test or procedure needs to be cancelled, they will be called directly. If they have questions, they should reach out to their physicians.
  • Visitation - Only two healthy adult designated caregivers will be allowed to visit patients. All visitors to any Le Bonheur facility will be screened upon entrance. If they meet any of the criteria below, they will be asked not to enter the facility:
    • Had contact (within six feet for 10 minutes) with suspected COVID-19 patient
    • Traveled out of the country within the last 14 days to restricted countries
    • Feeling feverish or experiencing chills in the last 48 hours
    • Fever of 100.4 or greater in the last 48 hours
  • Screening checkpoints will be located at entrances.
  • Le Bonheur Associates Screening – Starting later this week, providers and employees of Le Bonheur will undergo screening when entering a Le Bonheur campus building. They will receive the same verbal and temperature screening.
  • Volunteers – Our volunteer program has been suspended to limit visitors to the building.
  • Information for Parents – Visit //www.lebonheur.org/coronavirus for the latest information and links to a COVID-19 Resource Center for parents.

Memphis VA Medical Center

  • Call (901) 577-7221 before visiting, even if you already have an appointment.
  • All Memphis VA Medical Center clinics and operations are operating normally except for the updated visitor, patient and staff restrictions/guidelines below:
    • Visitors are prohibited at the medical center with the following exceptions, which allow for one visitor per veteran:
      • Veterans who require assistance to get to and from an appointment.
      • Veterans who require support in inpatient palliative/hospice care or the Emergency Department.
      • Veterans who are having major procedures, surgery, or who require a driver post-procedure.
      • Any other exceptions must be approved by the Chief of Staff.
    • Only visitors without symptoms will be permitted to enter the medical center as dictated by the current situation.
    • No visitors under the age of 18 (including infants) will be permitted.
  • Effective immediately, the Bed Tower, Emergency Department and Spinal Cord Injury Building (1st floor), are the only entrances available for use.
  • All patient screening for COVID-19 has been relocated from the ER to tents staged in the small parking lot adjacent to the Emergency Department.
  • Outpatients should come to appointments alone if possible, but if necessary, limit the number of individuals accompanying you.
  • The following are the hours of operation for each entrance:
    • Bed Tower Entrance
      • Monday - Friday: 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
      • Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
      • Sunday: CLOSED
  • Emergency Department Entrance
    • Open 24/7 including weekends and holidays
  • Spinal Cord Injury Entrance - 1st Floor (For Employees Only)
    • Monday - Friday: 5 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • All scheduled events or gatherings are canceled until further notice.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

  • New visitor policy:
    • All visits suspended effective Thursday, March 19 until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
    • No visitors allowed in rooms of patients with pending or positive COVID-19 tests.
    • Click here for exceptions for minors, obstetric and NICU patients, end-of-life patients, etc.
  • Employee and physician COVID-19 screening begins March 19 at all six MLH hospitals. Screening will expand to other MLH facilities March 23.
  • Elective procedures, routine screenings and diagnostics are being canceled effective March 23.
  • Visit methodisthealth.org/primarycare if you need a primary care physician.

Northwest Mississippi Medical Center

  • New visitor policy:
    • All patients and visitors who enter the facility for appointments or procedures must enter through either the front entrance or emergency department.
    • All other entrances will be locked.
    • Visiting hours are now 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ICU hours are now 9 to 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 6 p.m.
    • All patients, visitors and vendors must sign in at the security check point.
    • Visitors limited to one per adult patient and two per OB or pediatrics patient.
    • No minors under 16 are allowed in the hospital.
    • Adult patients receiving “end-of-life” care may be visited by members of the immediate family.
    • Adult patients with disruptive behavior, altered mental status or developmental delays for whom a family member or caregiver is essential to their care may have one visitor.
    • Patients undergoing surgeries, procedures, tests or with appointments at a NMMC hospital-based clinic may have one visitor before and during for inpatient and outpatient procedures. Inpatient visitors must leave as soon as possible after the procedure is completed and the patient is in a room.
    • Adult patients in the adult emergency department may have one visitor.
    • Every effort will be made to grant requests for visits from religious or spiritual advisers.
    • Other exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • All patients and visitors will be screened at the above entrances for respiratory illness symptoms and travel to locations experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks will receive further evaluation.
  • Visitors must stay in patient’s room until they leave the facility. Exceptions will be granted by the unit’s nursing staff.
  • Approved visitors who leave the hospital outside of the revised visiting hours will not be allowed to re-enter until the following day.
  • Only a visitor with a patient will be allowed in the cafeteria to eat breakfast and/or lunch.
  • Families are encouraged to consider remote visits by telephone or video chat.

Pediatrics East

  • Because we cannot screen walk-in patients, we have decided to suspend our walk-in morning clinics beginning Tuesday, March 17. NO WALK-IN APPOINTMENTS FOR NOW.
  • We will be screening patients and their families on the appointment line to assess their risk of having COVID-19. If needed, we will arrange for patients to be screened, assessed, and perhaps tested for COVID-19 based on recommendations from the Health Department. Just last week, this system led to a patient being completely evaluated for this virus without coming to our clinic.
  • For the upcoming weeks, we will be setting aside a certain block of time in the mornings for checkups for our youngest patients – newborns through 2-year-olds.
  • The schedule for the remainder of the days will be open for any kind of appointment – sick visit, ADHD, checkups (both younger and older children).
  • We have plans in place to intensify our already extensive cleaning of each patient room with specific measures to address COVID-19.

Regional One Hospital

  • As of 9 a.m. Friday, March 20, most areas of Regional One Health will not allow visitation.
  • Exceptions for adult visitors (18 or older) include:
    • Obstetric patients may have one support person.
    • Neonatal ICU patients may have mother plus one support person per day who must remain in the unit for the duration of the visit.
    • Patients in the General ICU, Burn ICU, and Trauma ICU may have one visitor per day who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
    • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the campus as soon as possible after the procedure or surgery.
    • Visitors under the age of 18 who are a parent or legal guardian of a patient of Regional One Health are allowed.
    • Patients in Ambulatory Practice locations may have one support person accompany them to their appointments.
    • Patients at the end-of-life may have a minimal number of visitors who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
    • Patients with known behavioral issues, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor who must remain in the room.
    • Patients with altered mental status or developmental delay (where the family member provides safety) may have one visitor who must remain in the room.
    • Patients requiring a home caregiver to be trained must remain in the room.
  • Exceptions only apply if a visitor screens negative for symptoms of any respiratory infection (fever, new or changing cough, rhinorrhea or worsening shortness of breath).

Saint Francis Hospital

  • Beginning 8 a.m. Friday, March 20 no visitors are allowed without the following exceptions:
    • Obstetrical patients may have one support person to accompany them.
    • Patients at end-of-life may have a limited number of visitors who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
    • Patients where the family member provides safety (i.e., altered mental or physical status or developmental delay) or is critical to patient care (i.e., disruptive behavior) may have one visitor who must stay in the room for the duration of the visit.
    • For patients who require a home caregiver to be trained before discharge, the caregiver must stay in the room for the duration of the visit.
    • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor before and immediately after the procedure/surgery.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  • Modified work arrangements so most staff can work from home.
  • Educating the workforce on how to stay safe.
  • Connecting virtually instead of traveling and meeting face-to-face.
  • Fundraising events are postponed.
  • Limiting the number of visitors.
  • All visitors are prohibited from entering campus except for the following groups:
    • Patients and patient caregivers.
    • Consulting physicians and health care providers.
    • Vendors, consultants or contractors who are paid to provide services to St. Jude or ALSAC.
    • Volunteers who are supervised by St. Jude Volunteer Services or Housing.
    • Certain students and trainees.
    • Donors to the St. Jude Blood Center. Blood donors must use a separate entrance on the side of the Patient Care Center.
    • St. Jude-approved Memphis-based catering operations and food trucks.
  • All of the above will be screened before entering the campus.
  • All campus tours are canceled until further notice.
  • All patient and family events in the hospital and housing facilities involving non-St. Jude or non-ALSAC employees are canceled until further notice.
  • All on-campus scientific and medical conferences, events, symposia and workshops involving non-St. Jude employees are canceled through the month of March. Stay tuned for a decision on April events.
  • Reducing the number of people who are on the St. Jude campus. A maximum of 2 caregivers may accompany patients onto campus.
  • Rescheduling many non-urgent and research-related patient appointments.
  • If anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, call your primary clinic. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and runny nose. The care team may recommend COVID-19 testing.
  • Reschedule your appointment if family members are sick and the visit is not required for therapy.
  • Please do not bring siblings to campus.
  • Plan to arrive at campus early if you are driving. It may take you longer than usual to get through the gates.
  • When you arrive at appointments on campus, you will be asked screening questions at security gates.
  • If a patient or family caregiver has COVID-19 symptoms, you will be asked to call your primary clinic. Follow the care team’s instructions. The person with symptoms will likely have COVID-19 testing.
  • You will go through a screening station at the building entrance. We will ask about symptoms of illness and potential exposure to the virus.

Cambell Clinic

  • Introducing rigorous additional cleaning procedures, increasing the number of wipes, hand sanitizers, and other cleaning materials available at entrances, reception and check in and throughout our offices and other facilities for patients, guests, visitors, physicians, and employees to use.
  • Encouraging frequent hand washing, and discontinuing the practice of handshaking.
  • Beginning Monday, March 16, screening all patients, visitors, vendors, contractors and guests prior to entering any of our offices. This screening is comprised of a brief survey and all individuals who are determined to be a low risk for exposure to the coronavirus will be issued a “sticker” to be worn during the duration of their visit to Campbell Clinic. This step will provide an additional measure of safety to others potentially coming in contact.
  • Beginning Monday, March 16, screening all physicians, providers, employees, and authorized residents and other personnel. This screening is comprised of a brief survey and all personnel who are determined to be a low risk for exposure to the coronavirus will be issued a “sticker” to be worn, affixed to their name tag or name badge at all times. This sticker is to remain visible to patients, guests, and other personnel.
  • Taking sensible steps to help protect our team of physicians, other providers and employees. This means fewer meetings, limiting travel, and making it easier for our personnel to take the time they need to care for themselves or their families in the event they are directly affected by COVID-19.
  • Monitoring new developments so that we can quickly adapt and continue to provide the services you need and the best possible experience at our facilities despite the added safety and security.

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