2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
CHI Franciscan Safety Facts
CHI Franciscan has been, and is continuing to take, a number of steps to make sure that our hospitals and Emergency Services departments are implementing the top safety measures possible for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or facing another medical emergency. As we look ahead toward a gradual reopening of other procedures, these safety measures are the cornerstone in our ability to do so.
Our message is simple: if you are facing an emergency, do not delay care. Call 911 or proceed immediately to the nearest emergency room.
Here are examples of symptoms or emergencies where patients should always seek emergency treatment:
- High fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Heart attack: Chest pain or discomfort, upper body pain or discomfort, shortness of breath (especially if coupled with jaw pain, fatigue, nausea, sweating and sudden dizziness)
- Stroke: Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty
- Deep cuts, lacerations, or skin infections
- Broken bones or traumatic injuries
- Severe abdominal or stomach pain
- Worsening symptoms related to chronic/ongoing conditions
We will continue to take significant steps to make sure it is safe to be treated at our care facilities. Here are some of the key safety measures we are taking across our hospital system to ensure all patients and staff remain safe:
- All public, inpatient, outpatient and surgical service areas have implemented physical distancing standards.
- Universal masking is in effect for everyone in the hospital, including all patients, providers and staff.
- Patients with COVID-like respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) are treated in one area of our Emergency Services departments, while patients with non-COVID complaints (lacerations, abdominal pain, stroke or heart attack symptoms) are cared for in a separate area of the Emergency Services department.
- Suspected COVID patients are placed in a negative airflow room to separate airflow in the hospital.
- Rooms and all equipment are always carefully and thoroughly cleaned in the hospital. We have instituted additional, rigorous cleaning protocols, including using special UV light technology to disinfect COVID rooms.
- We are actively screening and restricting visitors at all of our hospital locations and are screening all staff before they enter our facilities. Only one visitor is allowed per patient, per day, during visiting hours for non-COVID patients.
- Patients will be tested for COVID-19 before any scheduled procedure.
We are taking significant steps to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. All clinical teams and staff will be wearing masks and they have been screened prior to coming into the building. We have enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols throughout our facilities and procedure rooms, including special UV light technology to disinfect rooms. We are limiting the number of people in our waiting rooms and asking that only patients come into our facilities, with a few exceptions. We will separate patients following physical distancing guidelines.
We are working to resume certain procedures as safely and quickly as possible. We won’t be able to provide every service right away – rather this will be a gradual process that prioritizes more urgent procedures and treatments that can cause harm if delayed.
We have updated our processes to help protect the health and safety of our staff and patients.
- To protect our patients and staff, we now screen everyone entering our facility, including patients, providers and employees. Screenings are very brief and involve only few quick questions and a temperature check. In addition, you will be asked to use hand sanitizer. Please allow a little extra time for this process.
- Do not come for your appointment if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell or if you are in close in-person contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the prior 14 days. Call in advance and we will determine if your appointment should be rescheduled.
- Please wear a mask when you come — a cloth mask is fine. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you upon arrival.
- Finally, we are working to limit the number of people in our waiting rooms to comply with physical distancing guidelines. We have a limited visitor policy in place, with a few exceptions, such as a pediatric patient or a patient who may need help due to mobility issues. Please call our office if you have questions.
Currently only one visitor per day is allowed for non-COVID patients, unless they fall within the following exceptions:
- One visitor for anticipated end-of-life events
- One support person for laboring mothers
- Parents of a special-care infant
- Care partner who needs to learn how to care for a patient
- Designated driver for postoperative surgery patients
Full visitor guidance is located on our COVID-19 information page.
Yes. All patients coming for a scheduled procedure will be tested for COVID-19 before they receive care. This test is performed in advance of your arrival at the hospital and must be performed 72 hours prior to your procedure. Our schedulers will schedule your COVID-19 testing appointment at the site of your choice to ensure the testing timeline meets the 72-hour requirement and that the site is prepared for your visit. Patients must remain in self-isolation after being tested to help minimize exposure. Patients who test positive may need to alter their care plan in coordination with their physician.
Our clinics are open to take care of your health care needs whether in person or virtually. We continue to offer virtual visits as a convenient option for our patients in addition to in-person visits. Call your provider to determine which option is right for your next visit. You can also use CHI Franciscan’s provider search tool to see which providers are offering virtual visits.
If you have mild respiratory symptoms suggesting Coronavirus (COVID-19) such as cough, low-grade fever or mild respiratory problems, you can schedule a Franciscan Virtual Urgent Care visit as well.