Healing our communities, one patient at a time. We are moving forward, in a measured way, to once again serve all patients now that the peak of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. With the safety of our patients and caregivers top of mind, we are taking a series of steps to make sure it continues to be safe to receive care at CHI Saint Joseph Health.
CHI Saint Joseph Health is instituting the following steps:
- Adhering to the guidance and established criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Hospital Association, and the leading national associations of nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologists.
- Registration process will be done virtually, where possible.
- Every staff member, patient, and visitor (when permissible) will be screened with a temperature check before entering building
- Everyone who enters the facility will be required to wear a mask; patients are asked to bring their mask from home – cloth masks are acceptable.
- Our no visitor policy remains in effect, with a few exceptions such as for pediatric patients or those who need additional assistance for mobility.
- In many practices/clinics, patients may be asked to remain in their vehicles until they are ready to be brought back for an appointment.
- COVID-19 testing for patients prior to conducting certain procedures to provide appropriate care and reduce the risk of infection for caregivers.
- Prioritization of procedures, reduced patient volume for physicians and caregivers, and social distancing guidelines for visitors.
- Enhanced cleanings and disinfection throughout our facilities and in all operating rooms between procedures and at the end of every day.
Our care environment will be different than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are just as dedicated to providing high-quality care that is responsive to the needs of our community and reflective of the dedication of our caregivers. Thank you for your support in creating a safe care environment.
Resumption of Services Frequently Asked Questions
What procedures are being resumed at CHI Saint Joseph Health and when will they begin?
Under the Governor’s directive, some ambulatory services, such as diagnostic and radiology testing, such as mammograms, MRIs and X-rays, along with the expansion of in-office patient visits at physician offices and clinics began April 27.
We are resuming some scheduled outpatient elective procedures such as colonoscopies May 6. Some non-emergent/non-urgent inpatient surgery and procedures may resume in the weeks soon after. We won’t be able to provide every service right away – rather this will be a gradual process. Some procedures may be prioritized based on urgency and other factors such as whether a procedure was previously scheduled.
Why are we resuming some procedures?
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.
When will I be able to receive my procedure?
We are working to resume procedures as safely and quickly as possible. This will be an ongoing process and we may not be able to immediately perform every desired procedure. Contact your physician to find out more about when you can receive your procedure.
How can you guarantee it is safe for me to come to the hospital or physician practice?
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. As is always the case, all of our clinical teams you interact with will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment to protect both you and them.
We have instituted additional precautions to further ensure patient safety from the coronavirus. Only patients and health care workers will be able to enter the hospital or practice. We will separate patients following social distancing guidelines and have updated registration processes to decrease necessary interaction time. We are requiring screening and testing for the coronavirus 72-96 hours prior to your procedure.
If you test me for coronavirus and I test positive, what will happen?
Your elective procedure will be postponed and treatment for the coronavirus will follow the protocol that is currently in place.
Will I be able to have a family member or friend with me on the day of the procedure?
To protect our patients, staff and community, the no visitor policy we adopted in March remains in place. Your support person can remain close by and will be updated via cell phone. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If I have to spend time in the hospital, will I be able to have visitors?
To protect our patients, staff and community, the no visitor policy we adopted in March remains in place. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What should I expect when I arrive?
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. And visitation restrictions will remain in place.
Will we need to postpone scheduled procedures again?
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.