How the COVID Environment of Care Checklist Supports Safety for All

How the COVID Environment of Care Checklist Supports Safety for All

The safety of our patients and caregivers remains our top priority during this next phase of our COVID-19 response.

The COVID Environment of Care checklist supports a variety of precautions at our facilities, including regular patient and caregiver screening, social distancing in waiting areas and in work spaces, and continued disinfection.

The checklist assures consistent adherence to our enterprise-approved safety policies. We are all working together to protect our patients and one another.

Patient and caregiver screening

We continue to screen patients for symptoms as they enter our facilities. We also ask if patients are being actively tested for COVID-19, tested positive in the last 28 days or share a household with anyone diagnosed with the virus. We direct symptomatic patients to appropriate care options.

On entry, if a patient is not already wearing a face mask, we give them one and strongly encourage them to wear them in our facilities. Caregivers are required to wear facemasks when they enter and also while in our facility and to use Personal Protective Equipment when appropriate.

We also check both patients and caregivers for fevers and provide hand sanitizer and tissues. No-touch trash cans are also available to dispose of these items. If patients are wearing gloves, we advise them to remove them so that they may use hand sanitizer.

If patients enter a larger facility with multiple screening check points, we give them a wrist band to avoid needless delays once they have been screened.

Social distancing

The checklist supports our social and physical distancing measures, and calls for less furniture in our lobbies and waiting areas as well as more space between people awaiting appointments and caregivers in work spaces.

Visual reminders, including signs and floor maps, help to reinforce social distancing along with limited numbers of people in elevators. Caregivers are encouraged to use the stairs when possible to free elevator space.

In workspaces, caregivers are encouraged to spread out physically, stagger their schedules and break times, declutter work spaces and refrain from eating or drinking in any patient care areas. PPE, as appropriate, is a must.

Facility disinfection

Extensive cleaning of our facilities continues. We must work together to keep our work spaces clean and all surfaces as clear as possible to allow for sanitation and the use of disinfectant wipes throughout the day. Remove any unnecessary paper, posters, or temporary signage.

Elevators, door handles and common areas will have a regular schedule of cleaning. It is also important to keep disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues and non-touch trash cans within easy reach for all.

Thank you for your support of these ongoing safety measures.

Please note: A new Reactivation’ section of the COVID-19 Toolkit provides additional resources for service reactivation, including checklists for operating rooms. This toolkit reactivation section will be updated regularly.

Update to COVID-19 Testing of Emergency Department Admissions

Update to COVID-19 Testing of Emergency Department Admissions

Starting on Monday, May 4, all patients being admitted from Emergency Departments (ED) at main campus, Marymount hospital and Fairview hospital will be tested for COVID-19 using the rapid test.

The expected TAT for the rapid test may be up to 6 hours, but currently is 2-3 hours when done on site (currently available at Main, Fairview, Hillcrest and Marymount)

As soon as the decision is made to admit the patient from the ED, testing should occur. While awaiting the results, however, a patient should not wait in the ED.

To help avoid this scenario, every effort should be made to test the patient early during the ED visit and check on test results prior to patient’s transfer from the ED in order to conserve cohort beds and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Pending the test results, all caregivers should wear appropriate PPE.

This broader testing protocol will allow our organization to cohort patients and prevent pre-symptomatic spread. Additionally, this will help us start to understand the community impact of the disease.

As of May 4, 2020, we will also test all behavioral health admissions presenting to the ED, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, using the rapid test.

In addition, we will institute testing of all patients admitted from the EDs of all Northeast Ohio hospitals in a phased approach from now into early June while assessing operational impacts.