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NCH issues new visitation procedures, recommendations amid pandemic

NCH Healthcare System has updated its patient visitation policies Wednesday.

NCH statement: In the abundance of caution, we are suspending patient visitation effective immediately and until further notice, with a few minor exceptions.

Regarding the visitation policy, it is out of caution and for everyone’s health and safety that these policies were enacted.

Our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging families to be part of the healing process. The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has heightened concerns for many, and we want to allay those concerns by reducing risks to protect our patients, staff, visitors and the community.

The decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration as we witness schools, social events, houses of worship and other venues restrict gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Exceptions include the following:

  • Pediatric visitors are limited to parents and/or guardians; maximum of 2 people per patient. One parent/guardian may sleep in the room overnight.
  • Birthplace visitors are limited to one support person per patient.
  • Emergency Room visitors are encouraged to wait outside the hospital. Visitors who cannot wait outdoors will wear a surgical mask and wash their hands. Visitors who cannot/will not wear a surgical mask properly will be politely excused from the building.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may have one birth parent plus one significant other.

We want you to continue to support your loved one while they are receiving care at the NCH Healthcare System. Below are a few recommendations:

  • The Spiritual Care Department is offering personal visits and bibles or Virtual Care visits for patients in isolation rooms (through the use of NCH iPads). If you would like to speak to a Chaplain, please call the office at (239) 624-2600.
  • You can bring clothes and or personal items to your loved one. Please place these items in a clear plastic bag and take them to one of the security guards located at the main entrance of the hospital. A member of the NCH team will have this delivered to your loved one.
  • NICU has live stream bedside cameras for parents to access when not in the hospital; parents select with whom they wish to share video access.
  • If you and the patient have a cell phone, please consider using a social media app that will allow face-to-face time. Some examples include FaceTime, Skype, or Viber (NCH is not recommending any specific app).
  • Please remember to call your loved one on either their room phone or their cell phone. NCH has charging stations for cell phones; please have the patient ask their nurse to borrow one.
  • Adult coloring books are available by calling the NCH Downtown Volunteer Office at (239)624-3410 or the NCH North Naples Volunteer Office at (239)624-5706. Please leave a message Monday-Friday that includes the patient’s name, room and bed number.
  • Loved ones may order flowers, gifts, sundries, and every day needed items for patients at the Gift Shop. A limited number of items are available at www.nchmd.org (enter Gift Shop in the Search engine); a larger selection of items are available by calling NCH Downtown Gift Shop at (239)624-3393 or the NCH North Naples Gift Shop at (239)624-9367.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding during these uncertain times.

Author: NCH statement
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