Wheeling Hospital Stringent Safety Precautions in Place As Services Resume
May 26, 2020
WHEELING, WV – Wheeling Hospital, like many institutions across the country, has begun ramping up its services and opening its doors to the “new normal” as some pandemic restrictions are eased.
Having worked incredibly hard with the rest of the region to flatten the curve of the pandemic, the hospital is tackling new challenges that arise with the resumption of many services such as elective surgeries, cardiology, radiology and ambulatory clinics.
“We’re also stepping forward to provide the quality service this area has come to expect at Wheeling Hospital,” said Dr. Michael Campsey, Chief Medical Officer. “In doing so we want to assure you that we are taking precautions to protect you from the coronavirus.”
Changes that patients will see include all staff, visitors and patients wearing masks; and a triage process in the Emergency Department that separates patients according to the type of illness they are experiencing. In addition, the pre-operative screening now includes questions directed toward symptoms, contacts and travel prior to surgery. In some cases, patients may be required to have COVID-19 testing performed before surgery.
Specialized units have been created to separate any COVID-19 patients or suspected patients from the general population of patients.
Additional precautions visitors may not see include:
• Enhanced facility and room cleaning procedures targeted to eliminate any virus from surfaces.
• Up-to-date monitoring of infection control policies that are consistent with current CDC guidelines.
• Enhanced personal protective equipment guidelines to protect the health care providers and patients.
• On-going collaboration with local health departments and neighboring states to track potential outbreaks and determine appropriate facility action.
In addition, patient visitation restrictions remain in place.
• Visitation permitted only in labor and delivery (one visitor per patient per day); and pediatrics (two visitors per patient per day to allow mother and father to visit).
• Visitation is suspended in ICU/critical care except in end-of-life situations.
• No visitors under the age of 18 are permitted inside the hospital.
• Visitors who do not feel well should reconsider their visit.
• No visitors at the Continuous Care Center.
• No visitation at Acuity at either Wheeling o Belmont sites.
• All visitors to the hospital are required to wear face masks. Masks are available upon request.
• Visitors are asked to maintain social distancing and try to remain 6 feet apart.
All requests for visitation exceptions must be made by health care providers or nursing leadership. Those requests must be limited to the following: end-of-life decisions, pediatrics, obstetrics, deaf patients, low mental capacity, or other extraordinary circumstances approved by incident command or hospital leadership.
To enhance public safety and make disbursement of patient items during the COVID-19 Pandemic more efficient, Wheeling Hospital has adopted a Clear Bag Policy. Any patient wishing to receive items from an external source must have the items labeled with the patient name and placed in a clear bag. The items can be dropped off at the main entrance volunteer desk for distribution. All bags may be inspected and tagged by security.
Wheeling Hospital’s Physician Practice Division members have turned to telehealth to ensure their patients receive quality time with their health care providers. Telehealth allows patients to have visits and consults with their physicians and nurse practitioners via computer. This is especially beneficial when stay-at-home restrictions are in place or patients reside in very rural areas.
For practices using telehealth, a link is sent to the patient, allowing them to download the Webex app after the appointment is scheduled. The real time visit can be done via SmartPhone, Tablet or computer with voice and video capability.
“We want our patients and visitors to know that we are doing our very best to keep them safe,” Campsey said. “They can rely on the employees of Wheeling Hospital to provide them with the best care during this crisis. Most importantly, if you or someone you know requires urgent or emergent care we encourage you to come to the hospital so that you can get the care you need and deserve.”
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Contact: Thea Gompers, Director, Marketing/Public Relations 304-243-3705
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