Your safety is our priority
Our obligation to patients and families is to deliver the highest level of care in the safest way possible. This is always true, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we welcome more patients to our hospital, emergency department, outpatient clinics, convenient care, imaging, testing and procedural areas, we want you to know that we are ready. We have spent the past weeks working with leaders in infection prevention and consulting with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to make changes to our facility and operations to ensure that you and your child are safe.
When you visit, you’ll notice some things are different. These safety precautions have been made with your safety in mind.
We have restricted the number of visitors to the hospital and our outpatient facilities. Minimizing the number of people in our buildings not only helps promote social distancing, but also decreases the risk of transmitting the virus from the community to one of our patients or caregivers.
- Inpatients: Two caregivers are permitted for pediatric inpatients.
- Emergency Department: One caregiver is permitted.
- Surgery: Two caregivers per patient will be allowed for the duration of surgery.
- Outpatient Clinic and Testing Visits: One caregiver is permitted for pediatric outpatient clinic and testing visits, including radiology.
Screening at Every Entrance
Every person entering our facilities is screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and receives a touchless temperature check. This includes all patients, visitors and staff. Inpatient visitors are screened throughout the day.
Patients, visitors and staff must wear face masks at all BJC HealthCare facilities throughout your visit. Wearing a mask protects others from COVID-19 in case you are infected. Many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. Even if you don’t feel sick, you could spread COVID-19 to others. Children under age 2, and patients with difficulty breathing, and who are unable to remove their own mask without assistance should NOT wear a mask.
Masks can be homemade, or in any format or style available. Be sure to bring your mask from home if possible, but don’t worry if you don’t have a mask – we’re happy to provide one.
In addition to masks, you may notice that many of our staff who work directly with patients may wear additional items like gloves, face shields or gowns. We follow CDC guidelines to provide an extra layer of protection for the safety of our patients and staff.
You’ll notice visual guidelines and signs throughout our facilities about social distancing. That’s one way to remind all of us to stay at least 6 feet from others! You’ll also notice plexiglass screens and other physical changes to our facilities to help everyone maintain a safe distance.
Waiting Room Changes
Working with experts in infection prevention, we rearranged waiting rooms and changed our waiting room policies in some clinics. Furniture has moved or been removed entirely to allow for social distancing. Toys and reading materials have been removed as well. In some clinics, patients bypass the waiting room altogether and go straight to an exam room. Your care provider will contact you prior to your appointment to provide specific details.
Some healthcare providers have staggered appointments and reduced the number of appointments available to minimize the number of people in a clinic area at the same time.
More Frequent Cleanings
In addition to our normally stringent cleaning protocols, our environmental services team has increased its sanitization protocols around the facility. You may see additional people wiping down handrails, elevator buttons and chairs throughout the day. Hand hygiene stations are positioned throughout the hospital to encourage frequent hand washing.
Patients scheduled for surgeries and some procedures are required to be tested for COVID-19 as part of the standard pre-procedure process. Your care provider will let you know if your child needs to be tested for COVID-19. If so, your provider will take care of scheduling the test at a testing site 48 – 72 hours before your procedure. After the test and until your procedure, your child will need to quarantine to reduce his or her risk of exposure.
New Cafeteria Procedures
St. Louis Children’s continues to offer a variety of delicious meals and food choices to patients and families. We have changed how visitors move through the cafeteria to maximize social distancing. For example, entrances and exits are now one way. Rather than self-serve stations, food and nutrition team members stand ready to prepare custom-ordered salads, sandwiches and other food items. Tables have been removed in the dining area to provide plenty of space between seating areas.
These changes are just a few of the ways that St. Louis Children’s is working to keep you and your child safe. Learn more about all the ways BJC HealthCare is keeping you safe.