Memorial Health has announced it will implement a series of changes aimed at the prevention and mitigation relative to potential COVID-19 spread, including rescheduling elective surgery and placing restrictions on visitation.
The Senior Leadership Team at Memorial Health today announced a series of updates and adjustments, based on the daily reports from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in addition to a variety of other agencies in the public health arena.
All elective surgical cases and procedures scheduled occurred in the next two weeks are being rescheduled. Non-elective surgeries will continue as normal, including those which are life saving, preserve the function of an organ or limb, reduce the progression of disease, or reduce the progression of severe symptoms. Each week there will be an evaluation of whether to reschedule the next block of procedures. Patients will be contacted by an appropriate hospital or practice team member.
“As the effects of COVID-19 on our country, our state, and our county evolve, every level of Memorial is actively involved in the measures needed to help reduce the effects,” Chip Hubbs, CEO and President for Memorial Health, said in a release. “As with most public health issues, this one is both highly complicated and rapidly evolving. With good information and the engagement of the many practices we use every day, along with those recommended by the CDC and ODH, I am hopeful we can reduce anxiety, encourage calm, engage rational thinking, and help limit the effects of this pandemic.”
At Memorial Medical Group practices, all sick bay and walk-in clinic hours have been suspended. If a patient or a family member is ill, patients are asked to call their primary care physician for guidance. For all practices, patients must have a scheduled appointment, including patients visiting the practice for laboratory services.
Special office hours have been implemented, with well exams, non-infectious patient issues, and routine labs/vaccines scheduled during the morning hours. Illness and acute visits are scheduled in the afternoon hours. Patients are encouraged to call their provider’s office for specific questions or information, including same day appointment needs.
“As COVID-19 infections increase across the USA and Ohio, we have a responsibility as a health care organization to provide education and facts, as well as safeguard the patients we serve and treat,” Hubbs said. “In addition, our top priority is to protect our team members, the most valuable resource to not only Memorial, but to the region when it comes to treating and stopping the spread of the virus. As an organization, we have implemented a wide range of measures aimed at ensuring the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community.”
Memorial Health has also strengthened its existing visitor restriction policy.
On Memorial Hospital’s main campus, the number of public entrances are being consolidated to the following entrances: MacIvor Entrance (H), Heart and Surgical Center Entrance (B), Miracle Life Center/OB Entrance (F) for OB patients only, and Emergency Department Entrance (I). The Emergency Entrance will remain open around the clock, but the others are restricted to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are no visitation hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.
At each entrance, all visitors will be asked a series of screening questions prior to approved entry. Visitors should be advised that visitation may be denied based on the screening. Visitation will not be allowed for anyone who is ill with seasonal flu or COVID-19 symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, fever, chills, headache, vomiting, sore throat, muscle aches or diarrhea.
Visitation will not be allowed for anyone under the age of 18 and patients will be allowed only one visitor per day. When visiting a patient, all visitors will be asked to remain primarily in the room with the patient.
Visitation for any patient experiencing a significant change in condition or end-of-life circumstances will be assessed individually to allow for immediate family engagement.
For patients and visitors of Memorial City Gate Medical Center and Memorial Urbana Medical Center will face similar restriction, but patients under the age of 18 will be permitted to enter, but adult patients may not be accompanied by guests under the age of 18.
Memorial Gables has implemented a temporary restriction of all visitations, to help alleviate the spread of COVID-19 for residents and staff at the facility. Visitation for any resident experiencing a significant change in condition will be assessed individually to allow for immediate family engagement.
To help give families an alternative to visiting, the Memorial Gables team is offering the ability to Skype or FaceTime with loved ones during this time. Those interested may call the Gables at (937) 578-4074 to schedule an appointment and a member of the staff will assist in making the connection from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Friday.
Other changes recently put in place at Memorial include:
•The Memorial Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) was activated on March 2, in order to coordinate actions internally. The team coordinates with the Union County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to share information between entities. Memorial Health is continuously working very closely with colleagues at the Union County Health Department and Champaign Health District to coordinate appropriate messages and share information updates.
•All employees of Memorial Hospital, Memorial Gables and Memorial Medical Group are self-screening prior to reporting to their shift/position. If they have a fever, cough, or respiratory symptoms, the employee is asked to stay home.
•The Memorial Health website at www.memorialohio.com has been updated with content about COVID-19 with a link on the front page. This is intended to be informational and educational such that people can care for themselves and make decisions about when to call their primary care physician or when to visit the Emergency Department. Memorial will continue to add and update information on this page as necessary. Clinical-specific information, process updates and procedural directives, along with guidance from CDC and ODH, continue to be added to the Memorial intranet for all employees to access at any point in their shift and keep the latest information at their fingertips.
•Memorial Health Volunteer Services has suspended the volunteer program for adults and students, until it is safe for the program to resume.
•The Memorial Hospital Wellness Center is closed to adult fitness patients, in addition to Memorial employees, spouses, and family members. These groups will not be permitted to use the facility until further notice. The Wellness Center staff will work with all members to reconcile membership after the suspension ends. In addition, all Wellness Center classes are being cancelled, except those specific to rehabilitation patients, until otherwise announced.
•Memorial is restricting the use of all meeting rooms to internal use only. External groups who have reservations for meeting rooms are being contacted and requested to find alternate spaces.
•Internal meetings are being eliminated, as possible, or held using alternative technology.
For the latest updates on COVID-19 and Memorial Health, visit memorialohio.com.
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