30 Nov The Value of Connection in the Time of COVID
The Value of Connection in the Time of COVID
When visiting loved ones in the hospital isn’t an option, we want you to know how much we value and support human connection.
There’s no getting around it: The COVID-19 pandemic has turned much of how you normally go about life completely on its head. Whether you’re ordering groceries online instead of walking the aisles or canceling holiday plans to celebrate with just your household, you’ve had to make sacrifices this year.
These sacrifices can feel uncomfortable, and one loss in particular doesn’t go unfelt at Olympic Medical Center—the restriction on visiting loved ones in the hospital.
How OMC’s Visitation Policy Has Changed
Clallam County has seen a sharp increase in positive COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks, and this drastic uptick led to OMC enacting their High-Level Visitor Policy. To keep patients and staff safe, this policy means visitors are not allowed in the hospital or clinics until the county’s risk assessment lowers, with certain exceptions.
For many people, this is hard news. You might be asking yourself, “If I can’t visit my loved one in person, how can I stay connected with them?”
At OMC, we want you to know how much we value friends and family being able to connect with patients, and we’re doing all we can to ensure your loved ones feel connected while being treated in our hospital or clinics.
”Most of our patients appreciate our efforts to keep them and those around them safe from COVID-19. It is difficult, though, to have visitors restricted,” says Patti Haught, patient experience director at OMC.
“We value the human connection as part of the healing process and have done great work to connect patients with their loved ones virtually. Overall, our patients have expressed strong satisfaction with virtual visiting options given our necessary visitor restrictions.”
How to Stay Connected to Your Loved Ones Virtually at OMC
Fortunately, you can stay connected with your loved one and their healthcare team through technology. Whether it’s to say hello and send well wishes or to help them make medical decisions, we want you to have access even if you can’t be there in person. Here’s how you can stay connected to your loved ones virtually at OMC:
- Hospital phones are available inside patient rooms so your loved one can reach you
- Patients can use a personal phone, computer or tablet to visit with you through video calls, texting, or a simple phone call
- The patient units have iPads available for patient use, as well
- You can send an email to your loved one at email@example.com, and your email will be delivered on their meal tray
- OMC has two patient experience advocates available M-F 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM to help patients stay connected to their loved ones, and an evening advocate dedicated to the emergency department will soon be added
- Our Short Stay Unit utilizes pagers – like those you see in restaurants – to keep in touch with loved ones waiting in their cars for patient news
We want to ensure there are options for you to stay connected with your loved on and their healthcare team, and we hope you’ll use these virtual ways to show your support.
Visitation Policy Exceptions
There are exceptions to the current visitor guidelines, all of which can be found at Visitor Guidelines. Many of these exceptions will put you at ease, including those for minor patients who can be accompanied by one parent or guardian, laboring mothers who can have two healthy support visitors during labor and delivery, and Cancer Center patients who may bring one support visitor during treatments.
We know it’s not the same, as most things aren’t right now, but our sincerest wish is that you know we are doing all we can to uphold the health and safety of our patients, healthcare workers, and beloved community.
Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time, and remember, we’re all in this together.