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Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - Updating our guidelines for support persons, masking

We are changing our support person and masking guidelines effective Jan. 6.

In addition to limitations of support persons, all support persons will be expected to wear an approved isolation mask while in RSFH facilities. There will be no support person allowed for COVID-19 patients or patients under investigation.

For emergency services

  • Support persons are NOT permitted in the waiting rooms unless the patient is a minor or a vulnerable adult.
  • COVID positive patients will NOT be allowed a support person. If needed, the clinical teams will contact caregivers via telephone for more information.
  • As always, we encourage families to communicate with patients directly via telephone or FaceTime.

For surgical services

  • Waiting rooms closed.
  • One support person allowed during patient education and discharge. Exceptions are minors or vulnerable adults (i.e. cognitive impairment)
  • Staff will update the support person by phone at regular intervals as they would normally.
  • We suggest support person stays close to the facility and can wait in our parking lots.
  • For patient being discharge from PACU/ACU, discharge instructions with Support Person will occur over the phone and when the support person arrives to pick up the patient. Exceptions are clinical situations deemed appropriate (i.e. drain education).
  • For overnight or inpatient stays, nursing unit staff will contact the support person regarding discharge instructions/communication as warranted. This may also be done by phone if visual teaching is not required.

For inpatients

  • One support person per day as needed to support the inpatient care. Support person must stay in patient room and wear an isolation mask at all times. They may go to the cafeteria. Overnight stay is discouraged.
  • For end of life issues, up to two family members will be allowed to be at the bedside. The time frame prior to the actual end of life with be determined on a case by case basis.
  • A support person may go to the patient’s room on the day of discharge to receive instructions and communication as needed. This may also be done by phone if visual teaching is not required.
  • Waiting rooms remain closed.

For ICU

  • One support person per day as needed to support care. Support person must stay in patient room and wear an isolation mask at all times.
  • For end of life issues, up to two family members will be allowed at the bedside. The time frame prior to the actual end of life will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Waiting rooms remain closed.

For women, infants and children

  • One support person will be allowed to be in attendance for delivery and post-partum stay.
  • Support person may go to the cafeteria for meals.
  • One support person may accompany to OB ED.
  • Waiting rooms remain closed.

For rehab

  • One support person per day as needed to support rehabilitation. Support person must stay in patient room and wear an isolation mask at all time. Support person may be in attendance on the day of discharge for care instructions.
  • Support person may be allowed under special circumstances around the mid-stay for those requiring extensive training.

For ambulatory/physician practices sites

  • Patients can be accompanied by one support person over the age of 16 only if assistance is required to facilitate the patient’s office visit. The support person and patient will be  required to wear a medical grade isolation mask If you or your support person are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, shortness of breath) or suspect exposure to COVID-19 through travel or other means, we will direct you to Roper St. Francis Virtual Care.
  • Patients and their support person will be screened at entrance of the office for flu-like symptoms; those with symptoms will be directed to return to their vehicles and conduct a virtual visit.
  • Per CDC guidelines and local mandates,  we are requiring you wear a medical grade isolation mask when in our facilities and in our practice.
  • Our OB/GYN practices are allowing one support person over the age of 16 to attend all appointments. Please check with your provider if you have any questions. For all postpartum patient visits, patients are able to bring their newborn to the appointment but no other children. One support person is permitted for the safety of our pregnant patients.
  • Children are not permitted to attend visits with parents or guardians; please make appropriate child care arrangements. Children should never be left unattended or in vehicles.
  • Patients’ time in our waiting room will be kept to a minimum and all waiting rooms have been rearranged to optimize social distancing.

Because of the variations in various masks available and their ability to protect from the omicron variant, RSFH is asking all teammates, patients and visitors to wear a medical grade isolation masks within all of our facilities.

  • WHY? Cloth masks vary in design and have been shown to have varying efficacy in containing exhaled particles and protecting the wearer from inhaled particles. Using only medical grade isolation masks in our hospitals allows for consistent protection to our patients, staff and visitors from the transmission of COVID-19.  Thank you for your support in making our healthcare environment as safe as possible.
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