Visiting Policy

COVID-19 VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

Restrictions are intended to keep team members and patients safe by decreasing traffic into and out of the hospital, and to deceasing traffic activity within the hospital. Restrictions are intended to conserve PPE resources.

Things to consider when assessing for and determining the need for a designated caregiver:

  • A designated caregiver is not a casual person who is present for social purposes.

  • Does the patient require care by another person when they are at home?

  • Does the patient have care needs that staff are not able to meet? 

Requirements for designated caregivers and visitors:

  • They must be free from any signs of illness and should not be high risk for severe disease.

  • Must be screened prior to entering the building at the designated point of entrance.

  • Siblings under the age of 18 are not to serve as a designated caregiver.

  • The designated caregiver should always remain in the patient room as appropriate.

  • Must practice hand hygiene when entering and exiting the patient room.

  • Must wear a mask when healthcare personnel enter the patient room. 

  • Must follow other instructions for PPE as required.

  • Limit movement within the facility & avoid common areas.

INPATIENT CARE AREAS

The general principle is that one designated caregiver is allowed in order to protect our team members and patients by decreasing the amount of traffic in and out of the hospital and within the hospital, and to conserve PPE. When the patient qualifies for a designated caregiver to be present, these general guidelines apply:

  • The designated caregiver should commit to spending an extended amount of time with the patient (e.g. 8-12 hours.) We are trying to decrease the amount of in and out traffic throughout the hospital and decrease PPE use.

  • Ideally, the designated caregiver should stay in the room and not walk about the department or go to the cafeteria. They should use the designated restroom in the department. 

  • The designated caregiver can order guest trays to decrease the amount of traffic throughout the hospital.

  • The designated caregiver is to wash hands before entering or leaving the room.

In the following circumstances the patient's visitor could be considered a designated caregiver. In these cases, only one designated caregiver is permitted.

The patient is actively dying and expected to die soon.

  • Consider a transfer to hospice care where family involvement may be more available.

The patient is a minor under 18 and will need a legal decision maker.Patient is suffering from confusion or delirium:

  • The designated caregiver would be taking the place of a sitter and would be expected to fulfill this role while present.

  • If video monitoring is a viable alternative, then the designated caregiver is not necessary.

  • Engage the designated caregiver in care planning over the phone and commit to keeping them up to date on patient's progress.

In Maternity Services (Labor & Delivery, Postpartum): one designated caregiver is permitted. Doulas and outside birth coaches will not be permitted.

  • Designated caregivers will follow all inpatient care area restrictions as above.

The patient having surgery:

  • Designated caregivers will be allowed in certain circumstances:

  • If patient is a minor, as stated above

  • If patient has delirium/confusion, as stated above 

  • If patient has special needs such as a physical/mental disability, as stated above

  • If patient is scheduled for a cesarean delivery. In this case, only one designated caregiver is permitted.

Employees who have hospitalized family members are not exempt from visitor and designated caregiver restrictions.

ED/OUTPATIENT/CLINIC

The ED/Outpatient/Clinic patient is allowed 1 visitor per patient.

  • Visitor must not be ill and must be screened according to visitor policy. If the visitor is ill they will not be allowed to accompany the patient.

  • Only 1  visitor allowed for entire visit (i.e. cannot rotate out with multiple visitors for same patient)

  • Visitor is to remain in the designated area (ED room, OP waiting area, clinic room or waiting area) and not wander through the department or building.

  • On arrival, begin communicating to patient and visitor that the visitor is only allowed in the immediate setting and will not be allowed to stay if the patient is admitted.

  • See exceptions for  designated caregivers

cancer & infusion center

Visitors are only allowed in the Cancer Center if the patient falls into one of three categories: 

  • New consults: One visitor will be allowed to be present in support care of the patient. 

  • End of life discussions: One visitor will be allowed to be present in support care of the patient.

  • Mobility or confusion/delirium: The patient is suffering from confusion or delirium or has mobility issues requiring the assistance of a visitor.  In these cases, one  visitor may be present to support the care of the patient.  

Guidelines:

  • Visitors must be free of any signs of illness.  

  • Individuals at high risk for severe disease (e.g., underlying cardiopulmonary disease, poorly controlled diabetes) should not visit

  • Visitors are required to be screened and will be required to wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand foam/gel upon entering and exiting the clinic and patient rooms.

  • Visitors must wear a face mask and follow additional PPE instructions, if needed.

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Greater Regional Health

1700 W. Townline St.

Creston, Iowa 50801

(641) 782-7091

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