These past few months have been a time of change. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Edward-Elmhurst Health began evaluating every piece of our business to see what needed to be modified to keep everyone – our staff, patients and visitors – safe. It’s meant developing more than 152 workflows around safety.
Here are some of the policies currently being followed at our facilities. View slideshow.
Staff, patient and visitor screenings
We have a new check-in procedure to make sure everyone entering our facilities is healthy. All staff, patients and visitors are given a mask to wear and are asked to sanitize their hands. We check their temperature to make sure they don’t have a fever. Then we ask them some questions about their current health situation. For example, have they recently been around anyone who is sick or have they had a fever within the last 24 hours? After going through check-in, they are given a sticker or badge and allowed into the facility.
Updated visitor policy
We are allowing one care partner to accompany patients undergoing surgery and some elective procedures. A care partner is the person who is the most involved with the care of that patient. However, there are still some restrictions. For example, the care partner will need to wear a mask, go through screening procedures and stay in the patient’s room. In time, we expect visitors will be allowed in more situations.
Staff personal protective equipment
At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we’ve been careful and haven’t had any shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). Depending on their job, staff members may wear masks, gowns, eye shields, hair coverings and booties. Those who don’t work directly with patients wear cloth masks. We are grateful to our generous community members who have donated beautiful, handmade cloth masks. It’s a wonderful gesture and very much appreciated.
Only recently has social distancing become part of our everyday lives. But it’s likely going to stick around for awhile. Edward-Elmhurst Health immediately put social distancing measures in place. We have stickers on our floors that mark off six-foot increments in all areas, including waiting rooms, registration areas, cafeteria lines and our Starbucks cafes. These stickers are a great visual reminder for people to avoid getting too close to others.
We are using several testing platforms to get people tested and have results available quickly. In addition to testing any patients with COVID-19 symptoms, we test anyone who comes in for a surgery or procedure. We also test our employees. If they come into work and don’t feel well, we send them home immediately and make an appointment for them to come back and get tested.
Clean and disinfected facilities
Edward-Elmhurst Health has tremendous infection control teams. They’ve made sure we have a frequent and rigorous cleaning schedule and that we are using the right equipment to sanitize everything. It’s more intensive but worth it to make sure everything is sanitized and the virus doesn’t live on any surfaces in our facilities.
COVID-19 care units
Both Elmhurst and Edward Hospitals have designated COVID-19 care units with private patient rooms. Our staff gears up in full PPE and has best practices in place for the safe handling of these patients. Patients without COVID-19 can come to the hospital without fear of being exposed to the virus.
Our commitment to safety and quality
We have a long track record of upholding the highest standards for care and this won’t change even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Edward and Elmhurst Hospitals each earned an A in The Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2020 Hospital Safety Grades. Elmhurst Hospital is one of only 32 hospitals in the country and five in Illinois to have achieved straight A’s since the Hospital Safety Grades began in 2012. Visit Edward-Elmhurst Health online to learn more about our commitment to safety.