Samaritan Health expanding visitation, support persons at all facilities

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Samaritan Health announced over the weekend that it will expand limited hospital inpatient visitation and support persons.

According to Samaritan this change was enacted as regional COVID-19 infection rates continue to stabilize.

Major patients groups that will be impacted by these changes will include obstetric patients, pediatric patients and neonatal intensive care surgical service patients, those undergoing outpatient procedures, lab radiology or rehabilitation and outpatient appointments.

However, Samaritan will continue to regulate certain restrictions due to limited waiting area spaces. Specific guidelines for each patient group are listed below:

Obstetric patients:

  • Two designated support persons per patient
  • Support person may accompany the patient throughout labor, delivery and immediate postpartum period, until discharge home
  • Support persons should be prepared to stay with the mother for long periods of time
  • Support persons may leave and return once a day and will be screened upon re-entry
  • The Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children’s entrance on Sherman and Pratt Street will be used for exiting and returning

Pediatric patients and neonatal intensive care:

  • Two designated support persons may be designated and may be present together
  • Support persons may leave and return once a day and will be screened upon re-entry
  • The Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children’s entrance on Sherman and Pratt Street will be used for exiting and returning

Surgical services patients

  • One designated support person per patient
  • Patients will be required to enter through the Main Entrance of the hospital and park out front in designated spots or in the parking garage. Call 315-816-1664 upon arrival
  • Patients and support person will be guided by staff members on where to go from the waiting areas to certain areas within the surgical services department
  • Support persons must remain in designated waiting areas at all times
  • If a surgical patient becomes an inpatient and must remain in the hospital, support persons must follow general inpatient visitation guidelines
  • If a support person does not accompany the patient into the facility, they will be provided a cell number and can call for general updates
  • When the patient is ready for discharge, the support person and patient will be provided the discharge instructions before leaving the facility.
  • If a support person does not follow any of the guidance above or what is asked by them of any staff member they will be asked to leave
  • The patient’s surgery or procedure will determine when a support person will be with the patient, which may or may not be directly before or after their procedure. Staff will guide the support person based on the patient case.
    • Outpatient patient procedure unit: Support person will be with the patient in the preoperative surgical area and remain there until discharge
    • Main operating room: Support persons will remain in the designated waiting areas until the patient is in advanced recovery after the surgery and ready for discharges
    • Pediatric patients: Two support persons are allowed allowed however, only one support person will be able to be with the patient during pre- and post-operative care; the other support person must remain in the designated waiting area until discharge information is provided

Patients undergoing outpatient procedures, lab, radiology or rehabilitation:

  • One support person allowed at healthcare appointments when space allows

Outpatien appointments at all Samaritan clinics

  • One support person when space allows

These updated guidelines are to go into effect at all Samaritan Health facilities on April 26, 2021.

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