Whether you’re a patient, visitor, physician or staff member, your health is always our number one priority. Whether you’re coming in for surgery or routine testing, we want you to rest assured that we’ve put every precaution in place to protect your health and make you feel safe and comfortable in our hospital.
“It is safe to come back — whether it’s coming to the hospital or going to the doctor’s offices,” says Kenneth Roberts, president of Mather Hospital. “People shouldn’t neglect reaching out to their healthcare providers.”
Here are some of the things Mather is doing to keep everyone safe:
- Face masks – Everyone entering the hospital is required to clean their hands with the alcohol-based hand sanitizer and to put on a new surgical mask provided at all entrances.
- Temperature checks – In addition to hand sanitizing and face masks, everyone entering the hospital is required to have their temperature checked. This helps alert hospital staff and visitors if they have a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which is a known symptom of COVID-19. Staff and visitors are scanned using thermal imaging tablets, a touchless system works with your mask on. Visitors may be prohibited from entering if they have an elevated temperature reading. For staff, if their temperature is 100 degrees or higher, they must return home, contact Mather’s Employee Health and get a COVID-19 test before they can return to work.
- Screenings – If you’re coming to the hospital for an outpatient testing appointment, when you call to make your appointment, you will be asked a series of screening questions over the phone to ensure that you have no symptoms of, or potential exposures to COVID-19. When you receive a phone call confirming your appointment, you will be screened again as well as a third time, upon arrival for your appointment. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be required to use hospital-provided hand sanitizer, put on a new surgical mask and have your temperature checked. If you’re undergoing a surgical procedure, as part of presurgical testing you will also be required to have a COVID test before surgery. COVID testing is also necessary before certain outpatient tests such as a pulmonary function test. If you test positive, your surgery may be postponed until you receive a negative test result.
- Cleaning – Our rigorous infection control protocols have been proactively expanded to minimize the spread of COVID-19. In addition to traditional surface cleaning and disinfecting methods, Mather has been using two different types of ultraviolet radiation devices, Tru-D and Purple Sun, to disinfect patient rooms. These systems are utilized after our Environmental Services staff perform a manual cleaning of the patient room after discharge or room transfer. These disinfection systems use ultraviolet “C” light to destroy all spores, bacteria and fungus. These UV systems are part of a comprehensive COVID-19 cleaning protocol to disinfect the entire patient room, including the bathroom. “Mather’s environmental services team uses this technology as part of its overall COVID-19 disinfectant protocol,” says Frank Christiano, director of environmental services.
- Limited visiting hours – Although we’ve reinstated visitation on some units, visiting hours remain limited for the safety of patients, visitors and staff. On our medical surgical and critical care units we are allowing patients to have one visitor at a time (two pre-identified visitors per patient for the entire hospitalization) between the hours of 4–8pm. On our adolescent behavioral health unit, only one visitor per patient is allowed for two one-hour visits daily. Visitation is still suspended on adult behavioral health, ambulatory surgery, emergency department and transitional care units. Visitors who have been to any of the states listed on the COVID-19 travel advisory list in the past 14 days will not be allowed in the hospital.
- Social distancing rules – Social distancing is here to stay, even when it comes to our staff. Virtual meetings and telephone conferencing remain our default meeting options, and in cases where small meetings must be held in-person, social distancing guidelines are practiced in our conference rooms with staff staying at least six feet apart from each other. Staff members must also follow social distancing guidelines in all workplace settings, including break rooms and the employee cafeteria. New processes have also been implemented to limit the number of patients in all of our outpatient areas to allow for appropriate social distancing.
We are continuing to monitor and evolve our policies and protocols in order to keep our staff, patients and visitors safe. We must all remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.