Walking into a CHI Health clinic or hospital is different now, compared to three months ago. The changes were made to protect you, so you can feel confident walking in our doors. And many will continue as we adjust to our “new normal.”
- A screener will meet you at the door and ask about your exposure or if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Those at risk are escorted to an isolated space for care or sent home with follow-up instructions.
- Masks are worn by providers and staff. Patients can wear a mask from home, or one will be provided when they enter a clinic or hospital.
- “Sick” and “healthy” patients are kept separated in clinic waiting areas and, when possible, scheduled for different times of the day.
- Waiting room time is minimized. “Oftentimes we will even have patients wait in their vehicles and we call them on their cell phones when we are ready to see them. That means no more lingering in our lobbies,” said CHI Health Orthopedic Surgeon Matt Dilisio, MD.
- Six foot “social distancing” is in place. You’ll notice spacing at check-in and in waiting rooms.
- All physicians, staff and health care workers undergo daily monitoring of fever and symptoms and report to work only when they are well and symptom-free.
- Hand washing is frequent. “We have been proactive on showing what we are doing, like washing our hands in front of patients,” said CHI Health Division Vice President of Clinic Operations Julie Gernetzke. “Communication and visibility are really important.”
- Cleaning is constant. “We have always been careful to keep our clinics clean, but we have increased those efforts during this time,” said Michael Schooff, MD, CHI Health Primary Care Medical Director. We are regularly disinfecting surfaces large and small - from clinic door handles to entire waiting areas.
While some of these changes are temporary, you’ll see many of them indefinitely, if not permanently.
“A lot of what we are doing now we will continue into the future,” said Gernetzke. “In many ways this has created a 'new normal' and we will continue to be proactive to ensure we provide a safe environment for patients, communities and our teams.”