At Mission Health, we remain diligent in our fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus), and we want to provide you with an update about the thoughtful and deliberate steps we’re taking to reopen our hospitals and return to standard operations during this ever-evolving pandemic.
Over the last few months we have become aware that many in our community have not sought medical care for their urgent healthcare needs unrelated to COVID-19, due to fear and uncertainty about the safety of hospitals. We want to reassure you of the numerous additional protocols that we have implemented to ensure your safety. We are here to take care of our community, and we are well-equipped to handle any health concern they may have.
Across HCA Healthcare, our facilities have maintained historically strict standards for infectious diseases while following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we will continue to do so to ensure the safety of all. We have carefully prepared for the reopening of many postponed services. We have introduced enhanced precautions to ensure a safe environment for healthcare delivery.
Here are just a few of the steps we’re taking to keep our patients, visitors and our clinical teams safe:
• Screening processes are in place for all patients, visitors and clinicians before entering facilities.
• Updated visitor policies, including limitations, which have been in place for the duration of the pandemic, remain in place across our facilities.
• Universal masking is required throughout all our facilities, which exceeds CDC guidelines. We continue to have adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for patients, visitors, clinicians and caregivers.
• Heightened infection prevention policies have been instituted, including the removal of high-touch items such as magazines, toys and vending machines from our facilities.
• Our teams are working to advance technology-enabled solutions that minimize patients’ time in facility waiting areas.
• Each care facility has a separate location for COVID-19 positive patients and those who are under investigation. These patients are masked and escorted to designated locations.
• Non-COVID-19 patients, as well as those receiving outpatient care, or patients with scheduled procedures, are treated in separate areas and assigned caregivers who are not concurrently caring for COVID-19 positive patients.
• We added screeners to manage expanded screening processes designed to identify anyone who may have respiratory illness and expedite their entry to a dedicated COVID-19 area.
• We are working with major commercial lab companies to increase testing capacity within our facilities.
HCA Healthcare and Mission Health remain focused on providing our patients with outstanding care. Our facilities are part of a comprehensive learning health system that uses data science from research, laboratory results and clinical excellence from 2,000-plus sites of care to drive superior, evidence-based and patient-centered care. As we continue to monitor the dynamic shifts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will provide periodic updates on our continued efforts to care for our patients, caregivers and community.
As we reopen our communities and work to establish a new normal routine, we encourage you to continue to follow current CDC guidance regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. These important infection-prevention measures will help keep yourself and others in our community safe.