MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- In an effort to keep patients, staff and the entire local community safe from the spread of COVID-19, Madigan Army Medical Center has enacted proactive changes to the inpatient visitation policy for the main hospital and its outlying clinics.
Each patient will be allowed one visitor. Visitors will be screened prior to entering the facility for any COVID-19 symptoms, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested screening criteria.
“We will be asking patients to perform hand hygiene, either hand sanitizer or hand-washing; and we will be asking screening questions that are designed to help us determine if they need enhanced screening, at which point we will direct them to that location,” said Col. Cristin A. Mount, MD, Madigan’s deputy commander for Medical Services during a filming of “The Madigan Prevention Minute: COVID-19” with Madigan Commander Col. Thomas Bundt.
“We have also asked all of our outlying clinics to proceed with single entry points for patients and staff where they will be asking people to perform hand hygiene upon entry and asking basic screening questions; and we are in process doing the same thing at the Madigan Annex,” Mount said.
Inpatient visitation at the hospital will be restricted to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week. Staff will ask visitors to start packing up their items in preparation to exit around 6:30 p.m., to ensure they can exit no later than 7 p.m., through designated exits. Visitors should use the most direct routes when traveling to their destination and exiting the facility.
Limited entry points:
Madigan’s patients and visitors should be aware, the Main Hospital Tower entrance at the flag pole, the Main Medical Mall entrance (near the Main Outpatient Pharmacy) and the Southwest entrance are the only points of access to enter the facility at this time. The Southwest entrance is open 24/7.
“We have changed access to the building. First, and most important, we want patients to know that the emergency room is available for anyone who has a medical emergency requiring medical evaluation,” Mount added.
The age of visitors to those in inpatient care will also be limited. Visitors under the age of 18 or over the age of 60 will not be permitted.
There are exceptions to the updated visitation policy:
- Visitors for the Maternal Child Health areas to include Labor and Delivery (L&D), Postpartum (3S), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Inpatient Pediatrics (4N), and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), will be allowed to have two adult visitors and have 24/7 access to their patients.
- Patients who are at the end-of-life may have two adult visitors.
- Pediatric clinic will be allowed to have two adult visitors per patient.
- Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for visitors under 18 years old or visitors over 60 years old in consultation with the patient’s provider.
This is a dynamic and rapidly evolving situation that can change at any time based on the new cases of COVID-19 in our area; and there may be more modifications to the inpatient visitation policy pending new developments.
“Things change rapidly and we are poised to change with the guidance coming from our experts in Pierce County, Washington State, as well as our own Preventive Medicine team, so we may see additional changes to access points, we may see additional hand hygiene and hand washing accommodations and we may see changes in our screening questions that we’re asking,” Mount added.
Every attempt will be made keep patients, staff and the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community updated on any changes. In the meantime, patience is much appreciated as these changes are implemented to ensure the best care to beneficiaries, while simultaneously enacting preventive measures to ensure the safety of patients, staff, visitors and the entire JBLM community.
Madigan thanks you for your patience, understanding and compliance. Care with Compassion.
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