Visitor restrictions go into effect on Monday at Intermountain Healthcare’s Salt Lake hospitals
With the number of H1N1 flu cases beginning to rise in Utah, Intermountain Healthcare’s Salt Lake Valley hospitals — Alta View Hospital, Intermountain Medical Center, LDS Hospital, and TOSH — will formally implement patient and visitor restrictions beginning Monday, October 12.
“We believe these restrictions are necessary to protect patients who are most at risk of developing serious complications. The restrictions will also help protect our employees and visitors,” says William Hamilton, M.D., medical director of the hospitals.
As of Monday, these visitation guidelines will be in place at all of the hospitals:
• No visitors under age 14 are allowed in the hospital unless they are a patient. (Nurse managers may make an exception for those who are visiting patients in end-of-life situations.)
• No more than two visitors at a time in any area of the hospital, including the Emergency Department and waiting rooms. (Again, some exceptions may be made in end-of-life situations.)
• No sick visitors. Visitors with fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, should stay home for the protection of patients and staff.
• Patients should wear a mask if they have flu or cold symptoms.
• Visitors and patients should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper sleeve.
Data suggests that these actions will reduce the risk of spreading H1N1 and seasonal flu to those at high risk of serious complications, says Dr. Hamilton.
“We’re committed to doing all that we can to provide our patients and staff a safe environment to heal and to work in,” he says. “We recognize that these restrictions may be inconvenient for some, but we ask that people follow these visitation guidelines so that we can reduce the risk of spreading H1N1 and seasonal flu inside our hospitals.”