Baptist Health updates visitor access guidance for hospitals

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – As the number of COVID-19 patients in the community continues to increase, Baptist Health is refining its visitor access policy to protect patients, healthcare workers, and the community at large.

The updated visitor access policy is effective Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 a.m.

Hospital Inpatients

After careful consideration, Baptist Health is temporarily suspending all routine, in-person visits to our hospitalized patients. We encourage everyone to use alternative ways of interacting, including phone calls, FaceTime, Skype and other means. Visitors will not be allowed at this time.

Please note exceptions below:

We understand that sometimes it’s crucial to have a family sitter or caretaker present, where the patient is undergoing a critical life-threatening procedure or it may be deemed valuable for the patient to have appropriate family caregiver oversight. One caretaker may be allowed on a case-by-case basis for special circumstances such as: patients who have altered mental status or special needs where a caregiver provides needed attention to improve patient safety.

Visitation for critically ill patients who are at end of life, in hospice or suffered severe life-threatening trauma will be made on a case by case basis by clinical leaders.

We are committed to communicating with you about your loved one’s status. With the patient’s permission, one designated family member will be called with updates, at least once per day, after the physician rounds.

All hospital common areas, waiting rooms, and cafeteria are closed to visitors.

Women’s and Children’s Services – One visitor (for the stay) is permitted for labor and delivery and postpartum patients, and two parents or guardians are permitted for NICU or pediatric (under 18) patients.

Emergency Department – Visitors will not be permitted in treatment areas. If required, one visitor will be allowed to support patients with impairment or mobility needs.

Hospital Outpatient Services – One visitor will be allowed to support treatment for patients with impairment or mobility needs.

Validation of Authorized Family Sitters/Caretakers: At each visitor access point of the hospital, visitors will be asked to sign in and designate who they are visiting. Once access is confirmed, they will be required to answer the following health screening questions and have their temperature validated:

  • Do you have a fever? Greater than 100.0 will not be allowed to visit.
  • Have you traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days?
  • Do you have respiratory or flu-like symptoms?
  • Have you had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
  • If the visitor answers “yes” to any of these questions they will be denied access to the facility.

Visitors must be at least 15 years old and meet the above screening criteria each time they enter the facility. All visitors must follow all required precautions:

  • Follow social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet distance from each other
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Follow directions of the hospital staff

Visit baptist-health.com/coronavirus for more details regarding Baptist Health’s response to the coronavirus disease, including visitor restrictions at hospitals, access to care, COVID-19 education and drive-thru screening sites.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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