The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will take more steps this week to ensure staff and patients' health through social distancing.
Starting Wednesday, the hospital system will temporarily suspend all visits for adult patients and allow one visitor per day for pediatric patients. The visitor must be a parent or legal guardian of the pediatric patient.
Visitor exceptions will be made for patients with unique conditions or circumstances. That includes patients who are having a baby, are in critical care, are facing end-of-life decisions or are in the emergency department. Visitors granted an exception must be age 18 or older and healthy, and all visitors and employees will continue to be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus.
The temporary restrictions apply to all UI Health Care patient care facilities, including UI Hospitals & Clinics, UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, offsite clinics, and UI QuickCare and UI Urgent Care locations until further notice.
UI Hospitals & Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran says it's critical they maintain the highest levels of safety for patients and staff, which means limiting the number of people in UI health facilities. “University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics remains open for all essential health care services which means that over a thousand patients continue to come to our campus each day. To date, over 95% of these patients have no symptoms of COVID-19. All COVID-19 positive patients are kept in isolation. We are instituting these measures so that all patients can continue to come to our campus and know that they will be safe and taken care of.”
As part of the new measures, hospital staff will serve as communication liaisons between hospitalized patients and the care team, providing daily updates to the patient’s designated point of contact, at the patient’s wish. For those inpatients who do not have their own communication device, a dedicated communications liaison will help with technology provided by the hospital. Staff will also provide mobility and interpreter assistance to patients who need this support.