Providing Care During COVID-19 at the Honolulu Shriners Hospital
Safety Measures Patients and Families Can Expect During Their Next Appointment
As of June 1, 2020, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu is welcoming all patients and families for appointments. This comes after the hospital adopted several measures, including operating at a reduced capacity, in response to the coronavirus 2019 pandemic (COVID-19) to protect the health of patients, families and employees.
"We remained open throughout the statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order and COVID-19 to offer services like our walk-in injury clinic to help alleviate non-emergency care at other health care systems in the state,” said Jonathan Pellett, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon and interim chief medical officer.
However, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Hawaii State Department of Health, services requiring travel, including neighbor island satellite clinics and out-of-state outreach, were postponed.
“We also made the decision to postpone appointments that could be safely deferred to a later date in order to limit the number of visitors to the hospital, in accordance with CDC and state health recommendations,” Pellett added.
As of May 18, 2020, the Honolulu Shriners Hospital resumed elective surgeries with new safety measures in place. “Moving forward, each patient will be tested for COVID-19 prior to surgery. If a test comes back positive, the surgery will be rescheduled to a later date,” Pellett said.
Other safety measures patients and families can expect to see during their next appointment include:
All patients, family members and staff members must receive a health screening upon arrival at the hospital. Visitors can only enter the hospital through the front lobby, at which time they will be screened for:
- COVID-19 symptoms.
- Epidemiologic risks.
As a reminder, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu does not treat COVID-19. If your child is experiencing possible coronavirus symptoms, please contact your pediatrician for instructions.
Once visitors pass through the wellness screening and receive a sticker with the day’s date, they will be checked in and taken to an exam room. “We no longer allow waiting in the lobby. This is to reduce the risk of exposure to large groups of people,” said Anita Becker, RN, chief nursing executive and director of patient care services.
Additionally, to reduce the amount of people in the hospital at one time, only up to two healthy parents or caregivers may accompany patients to their appointments. Siblings or other family members are encouraged not to attend at this time. We recommend parents make childcare arrangements for siblings in advance of their child's visit.
Visitors whose child is a patient in our inpatient department will receive a purple armband, which will permit access to the upstairs unit. All other visitors, families and first responders are limited to the first floor only.
Masking and Social Distancing
Universal masking in our hospital is now mandatory. All staff, patients and families will wear a mask, regardless of symptoms, upon arrival. Exceptions may be made for infants and toddlers, as tolerated. If anyone arrives without a mask, one will be provided.
Everyone is asked to continue practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet as the situation allows. Hand-washing and hand hygiene is highly encouraged. Hand sanitizing stations are readily available throughout the hospital.
Fast Track Video Visits
Also known as telehealth, Fast Track Video Visits (FTVV) have allowed many children and their families the option to see their doctor from the comfort of their own home. “We cannot take an X-ray or put on a cast over telehealth, but we can get a lot of important information through these virtual visits. We also are able to provide learning and teaching through our online appointments,” Pellett said.
FTVV allow access to specialized pediatric services to both established and new patients from the comfort of their own homes, while decreasing potential risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
“We previously conducted these visits in one exam room. Now all outpatient rooms are outfitted with technology for telehealth visits,” Pellett said.
Video visits may be used to conduct follow-up visits and discuss treatment plans. “While telehealth will not replace all in-person visits, they are an extension of our care, and they help improve personal and community safety by decreasing potential risk of exposure,” Pellett said.
The Honolulu Shriners Hospital implemented virtual rounding on its inpatient unit in April to decrease potential risk of COVD-19 exposure, and to conserve limited supplies of personal protective equipment.
“This is a wonderful example of the way health care is adapting to find the best way to take care of patients, regardless of the situation,” Becker said.
The Honolulu Shriners Hospital cafeteria is open to all hospital visitors and staff for sit-down service, with the following modifications:
- All visitors must receive a health screening before entering the cafeteria. Health screenings are given at the front lobby entrance and are mandatory for all visitors and staff upon arrival to the hospital.
- Face masks are required but may be taken off while eating.
- Up to two (2) people may dine together per table, with the exception of families.
All cafeteria items will continue to be pre-prepared and individually wrapped for safety and convenience.
The cafeteria is open Monday–Friday during the following hours*:
- Breakfast: 6–10 a.m.
- Lunch: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
*Closed on weekends and holidays.
Here for You
Now more than ever, we are committed to our mission to provide care regardless of families’ ability to pay. Feel free to ask for information anytime during your visit or throughout the billing process.
Please check back regularly for updates to policies and procedures at the Honolulu Shriners Hospital. If you have any questions about an upcoming appointment, or are feeling ill and are unsure if you should keep your appointment, call 808-941-4466.
COVID-19 has changed how we do some things. But we are still here, providing the most amazing care anywhere. We are inspired by the resilience our patients and families display, and we continue to pursue our mission of improving the lives of children.
At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu, patients and staff are an ‘ohana (family). It is a privilege for us to provide care for children, and we want you to know, now and always, we are here for you.
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