How we're keeping you safe in our hospitals
At SCL Health, our top priority is ensuring we continue to create a safe environment of care for our patients, physicians, caregivers and employees. All of our hospitals have put extra precautions in place to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our patients.
Physically Separating our COVID-19 Patients from Other Patients
From the beginning of the COVID-19 surge in our communities, we put into practice infection prevention strategies such as:
Grouping together COVID positive and suspected patients
- Locating the care of COVID positive and suspected patients in one area to prevent contact with other patients
- Dedicating healthcare personnel who only care for patients with COVID
In the hospital, this may be a separate unit. In the ED, this may be a separate evaluation area. According to the CDC, this practice of "cohorting" COVID patients is among the most effective means for decreasing the chances of transmitting COVID within the hospital setting.
As a result, if you are going to the hospital for a procedure or emergency care, it’s likely that you will never see or be in contact with a COVID patient nor will the people caring for you.
SCL Health follows guidelines on masks from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health agencies. The CDC has suggested the use of masks to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All of our hospital staff will wear masks. We will also require patients and any visitors to bring and wear a clean mask while in our hospitals.
We continue to have a universal symptom screening process in place where everyone who enters our hospitals, which means all staff, patients and visitors, will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, including recent history of fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches and chills. If a person has symptoms, they will not be able to enter our facilities. We are following additional guidelines, including testing and isolation, for any member of our staff exhibiting symptoms.
Limiting Visitors and Practicing Social Distancing
All of our SCL Health hospitals have visitor restrictions in place to limit the number of people in our facilities. You may see new configurations of our waiting rooms to comply with social distancing. In addition, we are helping to enforce social distancing by closing common areas in our hospitals, including our lobbies, cafeterias, and coffee shops. Learn more about current visitor restrictions.
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting of our Hospitals
We have enhanced our already stringent guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting in our hospitals, following guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control, including deep cleaning and disinfecting all operating rooms, procedure rooms, exam rooms, and patient rooms between each use, as well as special cleaning procedures for our waiting rooms.
These guidelines help us choose the right cleaning supplies to use, the right cleaning processes to follow, the timeframes to circulate air in our rooms, and the proper use of ultraviolet (UV) lights to sterilize our rooms and equipment.
Partnering with Federal, State and Local Agencies
We will continue to partner with federal, state and local agencies on guidance and support and ensure we are fully aligned with updated guidelines and have all the resources needed to safely provide high quality care for our COVID-19 patients and other patients who trust us with their healthcare needs, whether they are experiencing an emergency, need treatment for a chronic condition or have other serious illnesses.