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 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:
- There are separate entrances or waiting rooms at most hospitals for suspected COVID patients and non-COVID patients.
- Patients with COVID-like respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) are treated in one area of our ER, while patients with non-COVID complaints (lacerations, abdominal pain, stroke or heart attack symptoms) are cared for in a separate area of the ER.
- 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.
- Universal masking is in effect for everyone in the hospital, including all patients, providers and staff.
- We are actively screening and restricting visitors at all of our hospital locations and are screening all staff before they enter our facilities.
- Patients will be tested for COVID-19 before any scheduled procedure.
- We are following guidance from the CDC, US Surgeon General, American College of Surgeons and the leading national associations of nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologists in establishing our criteria for resuming procedures.
We are carefully planning and preparing to safely resume some scheduled procedures. The safety of our patients and staff comes first, and we are taking significant steps to make sure it is safe to be treated at our facilities. We know there are many important procedures and treatments that our patients need, and safely resuming these procedures is one of the most important ways we can help our communities heal. The safety measures we have in place are an essential step toward a safe reopening. We also have clear criteria that must be met based on guidance from Washington state and national health officials.
This page will be updated with additional details as they are available.
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.
All patients will be screened before entering the facility and will be required to wear a mask at all times. Visitation restrictions will remain in place. Rooms and all equipment are always carefully and thoroughly cleaned in the hospital and we have instituted additional, rigorous cleaning protocols, including using special UV light technology to disinfect COVID rooms.
Like most hospitals, we paused scheduled procedures in response to guidance from the CDC to reduce transmission of the virus and expand capacity for a surge of COVID-19 patients. Now that the initial peak of the pandemic appears to be behind us, national and state health officials and associations of medical professionals have released criteria for safely resuming scheduled procedures. We will only resume procedures when we are certain it is safe to do so and all of these criteria have been met.
We are taking significant steps to make sure it is safe to be treated at our care facilities. We have a careful and detailed approach to determine which procedures can safely be performed, where they can be performed, and when they can be performed. In addition, we have enhanced cleaning and disinfection throughout our facilities and in our operating and procedure rooms.
Your experience getting care at one of our care facilities may be different than it was before COVID-19. For instance, all patients will be screened before entering the facility and will be required to wear a mask at all times. We will also work with patients to be tested for COVID-19 before receiving a procedure.
Currently no visitors are allowed 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 info page.
All patients coming for a scheduled procedure will be tested for COVID-19 prior to a procedure.
If we see an increase in COVID-19 cases, we may reinstate some or all of the restrictions we have had in place. We will be closely monitoring COVID-19 cases in our area and the pace at which we resume procedures will be dictated by the realities in our community.