Patient Visitors

Temporary Visitation and Caregiver Guidance during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 22, 2020 

The goal of this visitation guidance is to protect patients, caregivers, and medical staff from unnecessary risk of exposure to COVID-19. This guidance applies to patients presenting to WRNMMC for in-person visits and to caregivers accompanying patients for inpatient or outpatient care. Authorization to implement more restrictive processes is reserved when medical necessity dictates using best medical judgment and on locally-determined Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level. This memorandum supersedes the previous memo dated May 15, 2020.

All caregivers will wear a cloth covering over their nose and mouth upon entering and transiting the facility and when social distancing cannot be maintained. All caregivers will complete a screening for illness prior to entry. 

We encourage family, friends, and loved ones to use electronic devices and mobile apps to stay in touch with patients. 

Exceptions to policy may be granted by attending physicians or the Nurse of the Day at 301-295-4260 or 301-366-2583. 

1. Adult Inpatients:  All patients, caregivers, and staff will be screened upon entry into the medical center for symptoms of COVID-19. Visitation hours are from 0800-2000 with the following stipulations:

a. For all inpatients who require assistance with rehabilitation, psychosocial support, and/or cognitive needs, a single designated caregiver will be permitted at the request of the care team (for the duration of the admission other than as permitted via exceptions herein). All caregivers should be in good health and report to the nurses’ station to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering a patient’s room. Caregivers are expected to wear a mask at all times and maintain social distancing as much as possible.  Hand hygiene should be performed by caregivers immediately upon entering and leaving the patient’s room. Visiting other areas of the hospital should be minimized except as necessary for transit to and from the patient’s room.

  • Wounded Warrior and Medevac Patients caregivers and non-medical attendants are excluded from visitation hour restrictions.

b. Two caregivers at a time are permitted for end-of-life care. 
 
c. Above exceptions do not apply for Patients Under Investigation (PUI) or COVID-19 positive patients. No caregivers are allowed for adult COVID-19 positive patients or PUIs. 

  • Exceptions for end-of-life/withdrawal of care: one caregiver at a time is permitted wearing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (just-in-time PPE training will be provided by care team).
  • This caregiver will be asked not to travel anywhere else in the hospital.

2. Pediatric Inpatients:

a. Pediatric patient families are permitted to name up to two primary caregiversAnyone who takes care of the patient at home and helps with daily activities. for the duration of the hospital stay. As much as possible, only one primary caregiver will be present in the hospital at any one time. Those designated as such cannot change during the patient’s hospitalization.

b. All caregivers should be in good health and report to the nurses’ station to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering a patient’s room. 

c. If a caregiver develops symptoms of COVID-19, the caregiver will undergo testing, and the pediatric patient will be treated as a PUI.

d. Pediatric patients hospitalized as a PUI or confirmed COVID-19 positive will be allowed only one designated caregiver who should stay with the patient in their room.

  • This caregiver will be asked not to travel anywhere else in the hospital.
  • The caregiver may order inpatient meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for him/herself and the tray should be delivered to the room.

3. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Patients:

a. NICU patient families are permitted to name up to two primary caregivers for the duration of the hospital stay. As much as possible, only one primary caregiver will be present in the hospital at any one time. Those designated as such cannot change during the patient’s hospitalization.

b. All caregivers should be in good health and report to the nurses’ station to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering a patient’s room. 

c. All caregivers must wear a hospital issued mask when in the NICU.

d. If a caregiver develops symptoms of COVID-19, the caregiver will undergo testing, and the NICU patient will be treated as a PUI.

e. No PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers are permitted to visit the NICU.  PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers may visit in the NICU once ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of antipyretics for at least 24 hours.
  • Improvement (but not full resolution) in respiratory symptoms.
  • Negative results of COVID-19 testing from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected greater than 24 hours apart. 

f. No caregivers will be permitted for infants who are PUI or COVID-19 positive.

g. Exceptions on a case-by-case basis may include critically ill infant or end-of-life care (at the discretion of the attending Neonatology staff).

4. Obstetric Patients:

a. One designated caregiver for obstetric patients is permitted for labor, delivery, and duration of mother’s hospital stay. The designated caregiver should remain in the patient’s room as much as possible.

b. No caregivers will be permitted for obstetric patients who are PUI or COVID-19 positive.

c. Exceptions on a case-by-case basis may be considered at the discretion of the attending staff.

5. All Outpatient Services: 

a. One caregiver will be permitted to accompany outpatients in order to facilitate care or treatment.

b. For the safety of our patients, caregivers and visitors will not be permitted into the Emergency RoomThe hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention.. Exceptions on a case-by-case basis may be considered at the discretion of the attending staff.

c. For the safety of our patients, caregivers will not be permitted in our cancer infusion suites where care is being delivered. One designated caregiver may be allowed with a pediatric patient undergoing an outpatient infusion, provided that caregiver screens negative for COVID-19 symptoms.

d. Caregivers are not permitted in the Perinatal Assessment Center (Building 10, 6th floor) as the rooms are too small to allow for social distancing.

This policy shall remain in effect until the hospital Director indicates the medical center is no longer in a COVID-19 pandemic posture.

 

 

Last Updated 5/27/2020