All inpatients in Ohio should be tested for COVID-19, effective July 15

All inpatients in Ohio should be tested for COVID-19, effective July 15

Updated July 17, 2020

Effective July 15, all hospitalized patients (including those in observation status) in Ohio should be tested for COVID-19, including hospital transfers and direct admissions.

Currently, all Emergency Department (ED) admissions are tested for COVID-19 utilizing either the rapid or routine test based on patient risk factors and/or symptoms. The process for testing hospital transfers and direct admissions should follow the same procedure.

Rapid COVID-19 testing should be used only in the following situations:

1. For patients with high-risk conditions (ED admissions to behavioral health, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or Labor and Delivery; ED admissions from a congregate living facility; ED admission with cancer/immunosuppression; transplant patients with an active organ offer; or patients undergoing emergent surgery with symptoms)


2. Admission from the ED with COVID-19 symptoms.

All other patient groups should be tested with a routine test.

Please note:

When a patient is admitted directly to a regular nursing floor (RNF), he or she should still receive regular testing, even if symptomatic.

Also, if testing can occur before a patient is transferred to a Cleveland Clinic facility, this is recommended. However, if patient acuity does not allow for this potential delay, testing may take place after the patient is transferred.

If patients have a positive COVID-19 test within the prior 28 days and are being admitted to the hospital, repeat COVID-19 testing is not needed for admission purposes, but appropriate isolation should be ordered.

Care team finds creative way to bring donor and transplant patient together

Care team finds creative way to bring donor and transplant patient together

Katey Hellickson says she gets to see miracles happen every day.

As a Living Donor Coordinator, Hellickson sees firsthand healthy, selfless individuals coming forward to help loved ones — or even those they have never met.

“Living donor liver transplant takes this to a whole new level,” she says. “It takes a special person to want to do this. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of it all.”

Hellickson coordinates the entire process — from donor evaluation to their scheduled surgery. Following surgery, she and the surgical team work with the donor for two years, coordinating appointments for labs, ultrasounds, CT scans, social work and more.

“As the main point of contact for donors, I develop a relationship with them,” Hellickson says. “I want each donor I work with to feel comfortable and confident throughout the entire process.”

Part of that relationship includes getting to be there when an anonymous donor and recipient meet for the first time.

Gayle Eberhardt-Mitchell and her recipient, Emma Ross, had planned to do just that in March. Due to COVID-19, the care team decided to postpone the in-person meeting.

Donor Gayle Eberhardt-Mitchell meeting Emma Ross | Cleveland Clinic
Donor Gayle Eberhardt-Mitchell meeting Emma Ross.

“They were still both interested in meeting, and we wanted to make this happen for them,” shares Hellickson. “It is a special time for both the donor and the recipient.”

Using Zoom video conferencing, the two were finally able to meet on June 10.

“This was the first time ever we set up a virtual meeting. Our team wanted this to be a perfect experience for them and I think it was just that,” Hellickson says.

“Seeing a living donor and recipient meet for the first time brings tears of joy and hope. Joy for a second chance at life and hope for recipients who are waiting for their miracle. Gayle is a true hero!”

Eberhardt-Mitchell and Ross plan to keep in touch and look forward to the day they meet in person.

WKYC Channel 3 covered their story. Click here to watch the video.

Pictured in the photo above: Top row: Gayle Eberhardt-Mitchell, donor; Katey Hellickson, Lead Transplant Coordinator, Katie Brigden, RN, Post Liver Transplant Coordinator; Emma Ross, recipient, and her family. Middle row: Cristiano Quintini, MD, Director, Liver Transplantation; Caroline Auger, Corporate Communications; Koji Hashimoto, MD, PhD, Director of Living Donor Liver Transplantation. Bottom row: Sarah Freedman, Liver Transplant Social Worker, Transplant House of Cleveland and Annette Humberson, Transplant Social Worker.

Did you know?

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, approximately 3,000 people die annually or become too sick while waiting to receive a liver transplant due to the shortage of organs.

Cleveland Clinic's living liver donor program is the only one in Ohio performing both adult and pediatric living-donor liver transplants. Learn more.

CEO Update | Our change to Ohio inpatient testing process

CEO Update | Our change to Ohio inpatient testing process

Fellow Caregivers,

As we monitor the increase of coronavirus infections across the country, we are remaining nimble and adjusting our policies.

We are now testing all new inpatients, including direct admissions and hospital transfers, for COVID-19 at our Ohio hospitals. This process uses our routine test. We reserve “rapid testing,” a resource we use judiciously, for patients with high-risk conditions or those admitted from the Emergency Department with COVID-19 symptoms. Learn more about this process.

Our talented researchers have identified genetic factors that may determine a person’s susceptibility to COVID-19. The study, published in BMC Medicine, indicates future potential for precision medicine and personalized treatment strategies for this disease. Read our release.

Cleveland Clinic continues to share best practices with other businesses. We are partnering with more than 100 brands in several industries to guide safe operations during this pandemic.

Today, we announced a collaboration with the Clorox Company. Our organizations recently worked together with United Airlines to enhance airline cleaning and safety protocols. Cleveland Clinic and Clorox have since released a free online guide for employers to create robust disinfection programs. We look forward to addressing other public health needs together.

I am pleased to welcome Patrick Byrne, MD, who is appointed Chair of our Head & Neck Institute. Dr. Byrne joins us from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as Director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In his distinguished clinical career, Dr. Byrne has also become known for his international humanitarian work.

He succeeds Michael Benninger, MD, who served as chair since 2008 and remains on our professional staff. We thank Dr. Benninger for his leadership.

During challenging times, we look to the human spirit to uplift us. Brian Stanley is a patient who has received four transplanted organs in his life. In April, he became the first patient at Cleveland Clinic to receive a double-organ transplant (liver and kidney) after receiving a double-lung transplant here in 2016.

Brian’s story is one of perseverance. Other hospitals had originally declined to accept Brian for lung transplantation due to an underlying complication. Our uniquely skilled clinicians, working as a team of teams, have since performed these miraculous procedures. Brian is now doing well as an advocate for organ donation and a mentor to other patients.

His story reminds us of the overwhelming sense of purpose we discover in fulfilling our mission. 

Thank you for your dedication.

Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President

Clorox and Cleveland Clinic Partner to Address Public Health Needs Posed by COVID-19

Clorox and Cleveland Clinic Partner to Address Public Health Needs Posed by COVID-19

Cleveland Clinic and Clorox are bringing together their expertise to support public health as society continues to face COVID-19, while helping to instill confidence in the safety of public spaces among caregivers, patients, businesses and communities.