HSA opens for non-emergency care; here are the new measures in place
As Grand Cayman prepares to move into Level 2 Minimal Suppression of the Cayman Islands’ COVID-19 response, the Health Services Authority (HSA) has begun to initiate its phased plan for the reopening of elective surgeries and outpatient care.
Level 2 involves the significant easing of certain restrictions on movement across the islands, which means persons who require non-emergency and minor care can now access the Cayman Islands Hospital, all outpatient clinics including the District Health Centres, the Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Clinic.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Services Authority adhered to the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical institutions by postponing non-emergent clinical consults and elective surgeries across the Cayman Islands,” said the Authority’s Medical Director Dr. Delroy Jefferson. “As many of our services have been on hold during this pandemic, we understand there is patient demand for medical, surgical and procedural care and our staff are carefully and appropriately prepared to meet this demand.”
There will be a phase-in of all services across all HSA facilities over time with a focus on stringent measures to protect patients and staff from COVID-19 based on the established guiding principles. All patients with a previous appointment will be contacted to reschedule. If patients have any questions or concerns about a missed appointment or need to make an appointment please call 949-8600. Public Health will also launch a vaccination campaign over the coming weeks providing an opportunity for patients to receive any missed immunisations.
HSA CEO Ms Lizzette Yearwood said that persons needing to come to the hospital can rest assured it is safe, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. “The safety of our staff and patients is paramount as it is our responsibility to provide a safe, clean environment for everyone who comes to the HSA for medical care,” Ms Yearwood said. “It is important that patients understand it is safe to come to the hospital as we regularly manage infectious diseases and have put additional measures in place to ensure patient safety.”
Among the safeguarding measures to be implemented are:
- Pre-registration of all patients prior to their appointment to minimize lines and congestion;
- Pre-screenings of all patients for temperatures and COVID-19 symptoms before they enter the clinics or departments;
- Changes to waiting room seating in all clinics to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet;
- Dedicated clinic days for the elderly and immuno-compromised patients only;
- Clinics and diagnostic services will be arranged such that adequate social distancing between patients is maintained, including additional outdoor space to expand waiting areas;
- Expansion of telemedicine services;
- Medical records can now be obtained at the information desk in the hospital atrium;
- COVID-19 screening will be required for all patients being admitted for elective procedures (including elective C-sections) 3 business days prior to their procedure and will be directed to the designated screening area.
Other measures to be continued include:
- Daily screenings of all employees;
- All staff in direct contact with patients must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE);
- All staff and patients must wear a surgical/procedural mask or cloth face mask;
- Additional housekeeping staff sanitizing objects and surfaces;
- Physical/social distancing practices at all points/locations where patients and or staff congregate. Where social distancing is not feasible in waiting areas, covered areas have been provided;
- All patients and visitors must enter the hospital through the main front entrance. All other doors will remain locked and accessible for staff by key fob only;
- Limited visitation for patients (see Visitation Policy below);
- Any COVID-19 positive patients will stay on a separate unit and will be staffed by personnel dedicated to that unit.
“The HSA understands that support from friends and family is an important part of the healing process and therefore as a patient-centered hospital will take all necessary steps to gradually ease current visitor restrictions but only under guidance from public health to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our patients, staff and visitors,” HSA Chief Executive Officer, Lizzette Yearwood. “To that end, we encourage patients to come alone to appointments when possible, unless a caregiver is necessary. We remind our patients and visitors that we are still living in a worldwide pandemic and encourage them to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves.”
- Visitors must be 18+ years old and wear a face mask at all times
- All visitors will be screened prior to entering the Cayman Islands Hospital
- All visitors are asked to sanitize their hands upon entering and exiting both the patient’s room and the hospital.
- Visiting Hours 11am – 8pm for Medical, Surgical and Critical Care Units
- In-patients who require assistance may have one caregiver as part of their care team
- One visitor will be permitted to accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery
- One visitor, per day, will be permitted in the Maternity Ward.
- Two persons (parent, guardian or caregiver) for patients on the Paediatric Unit
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) unit allows for one parent daily.
- COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed visitors.
Patients can use personal devices to virtually communicate with friends and relatives while admitted.