Chester County Hospital continues to take every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe from COVID-19. Charlee Faucette, Director for Infection Prevention, shares a number of the infection control measures in place at each of our facilities to limit exposure to all who come through our doors.
You can view this conversation in the video below, or read the accompanying transcript.
Hello, I'm Charlee Faucette, Director for Infection Prevention at Chester County Hospital, thank you for joining me for our next COVID Conversation.
As the hospital resumes everyday operations of tests and procedures, we know many of our patients and community members are hesitant to return to the hospital in fear of contracting COVID-19. In this video, I will share the many mitigation efforts we have in place to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe and protected while at all Chester County Hospital Facilities.
So, you might ask what precautions should I take if I come to the hospital for an appointment or surgery?
24 hours prior to your appointment, you will receive an automated text or call that is designed to screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms. Please be sure to respond to the text or answer that call. If you have any symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 - and this includes fever, chills, cough, loss of sense of taste or smell, muscle pain, headache, or sore throat - you will receive a call back from a nurse. He or she will review your symptoms with you and determine if you need a COVID-19 test, a telemedicine visit, or if you should reschedule your appointment or surgery.
Wear a face covering or mask to your visit, procedure or surgery.
What is Chester County Hospital doing to prevent me from coming in contact with someone who has COVID-19?
We are testing patients for COVID-19 prior to surgery and procedures requiring general anesthesia or intubation or that are deemed high risk.
All waiting areas as well as pre- and post-operative areas, have been configured to promote physical distancing.
We are caring for patients in designated COVID units in our hospital. And these are separate from other patient care areas, in order to optimize our infection control practices and protect patients and staff.
Everyone who enters one of our facilities is screened to see if they have a fever, "temp screening," as we call it. Fever is often one of the early signs of COVID-19 so screening on arrival identifies people who need a more detailed medical evaluation and possibly tested before they have unrestricted access to the facilities.
Will I be tested before my procedure or surgery and how does that process work?
Yes, all patients must have a negative COVID-19 test 24 to 48 hours before their procedure, if their procedure requires general anesthesia or intubation.
If you test positive, a decision will be made between you and your physician regarding the safety of delaying your procedure. In most cases if your procedure is not of an emergent nature, it will be delayed for a short period of time to make sure that you stay healthy. If you and your physician agree that your procedure should proceed as planned and is of an emergent nature, we have practices in place to safely perform procedures on patients with COVID-19.
For patients who return to the hospital on a regular basis, i.e. for radiation therapy, it would not be appropriate or reasonable to test before every visit.
What additional steps has the hospital taken to ensure the safety of their patients?
We have always followed rigorous standards for cleaning and disinfecting the patient care environment as well as equipment. Those strategies continue to be utilized.
We have verified that all of our cleaning agents are effective against COVID-19 as well as many other organisms and we have adjusted our daily cleaning routines to address high touch and common surfaces more often each day.
As an additional precaution, we have adopted a universal masking protocol to be followed by everyone here on campus and at our outpatient sites as well. Staff wear masks at all times and patients are asked to do the same. If needed, we will offer a mask to you or your family member when they arrive.
You may wonder where we stand in terms of our patient population right now and I can say that we have essentially started to that flattening of the curve that everyone was looking for. We're not seeing the daily increase in numbers of patients here in the hospital as we did in March and early April.
Hopefully this has answered some of the questions you might have had. And thank you for joining me for this COVID conversation.