Health Visits During Coronavirus

Safety is Our Main Focus

At Jefferson, we’re committed to ensuring the health and safety of our staff and patients is our priority. Here are just some of the steps we are taking to keep you safe:

Universal Masking

  • Equipped all employees with properly-stored and cleaned masks
  • Provide masks to patients who need them

Encourage Social Distancing

  • Reconfigured seating in lobbies, cafeterias and waiting rooms in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation of keeping at least six feet of space between you and others
  • No more than three people allowed in an elevator

Maintain A Hygienic Environment

  • Hand sanitizers are available at all entrances and elevators
  • Encourage hand washing for 20 seconds whenever possible
  • Increased efforts to clean and disinfect patient care areas

“Low Touch” Care

  • No touch registration options are available on mobile phones to reduce time at care sites

Institute Visitor Policy With Humanity

Shift Routine Office Visits To Online Visits

  • Connect with your doctors — anytime, anywhere — through your cell phone, tablet or computer with our renowned JeffConnect® app
  • JeffConnect® can be used for primary and specialty care appointments

Stay Informed

  • As information continually changes surrounding coronavirus, we’ll make sure to keep you updated on new policies, guidelines, testing, and more. Learn more.

Delivering Care Safely

Whether you are feeling sick, have a chronic condition, or require urgent care, going to the hospital or visiting your doctor during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis may give you pause. However, it’s important that you not delay your care, including testing and treatments. Jefferson Health has taken the necessary steps to ensure that all of our patients and healthcare providers are safe at all of our locations.

Learn more about our safety procedures, appointments, scheduling and surgeries by reading our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) below:

Shortness of breath, which is one If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

We are able to safely care for all patients who have urgent or emergency medical needs, while separating those patients suspected of having COVID-19.of the symptoms of COVID-19, can also be a sign of a heart attack. If you feel shortness of breath, as well as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain located at the center of your chest, this could be a heart attack. If this discomfort lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back, take immediate action and call 9-1-1.

Other times you should call 9-111 is when you notice the signs of a stroke, which includes loss of balance, blurred vision, facial drooping, arm weakness and slurred speech.

Don’t delay care. If you are showings signs of stroke, symptoms of a heart attack, or other urgent concern, call 9-1-1 to visit the nearest hospital.

Jefferson Health has put the following additional safety precautions in place in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic to help ensure your safety:

  • We have temporarily reduced the number of entrances to our facilities to better protect the health and safety of all.
  • Patients in all care settings are being asked about symptoms and history as part of our screening process. In addition, patients are being tested for coronavirus prior to their admission to the hospital.
  • Non-emergency patients who plan to visit our facilities are screened by phone to determine ahead of time if they have been exposed to or have symptoms of coronavirus. For those thought to be at risk, we can arrange for testing and alternative care options arranged outside the hospital whenever possible.
  • All patients are required to wear a mask when they enter our facilities and they must wear it at all times.
  • We are putting in place social distancing guidelines, especially in public areas like our lobbies, food service areas and elevators.
  • Our healthcare professionals are permitted to come to work only if they are healthy and fully equipped with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The PPE, such as gowns, masks and gloves help to protect you and our staff. This equipment is monitored and maintained based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state department of Health guidelines.
  • Our healthcare professionals wear this PPE in all settings and may wear additional PPE on hospital units when appropriate.
  • In addition to our normal cleanliness standards, enhanced environmental cleaning and CDC-approved disinfection procedures for coronavirus are being consistently followed.

We are able to safely care for all patients who have urgent or emergency medical needs, while separating those patients suspected of having COVID-19. Our ED locations follow our safety measure protocols including:

  • External triage to divide patients with COVID vs non-COVID risks
  • Divided emergency department into high-risk and low-risk sections
  • Continually educating staff and providers on testing processes
  • Implemented best practices for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect both patients and staff
  • Defined specific high and low-risk (inpatient) units
  • Collaborated with admitting providers to determine appropriate admission locations

If you have an appointment with your healthcare provider that has not been canceled or moved to a virtual appointment, our in-person care enforces guidelines of the highest quality. To ensure safety, we've:

  • Added early-morning and evening appointments for patients with medical conditions that make them more susceptible to illness
  • Created a “no-touch” registration option via your mobile phone
  • Created patient exam rooms that reduce unnecessary contact with in-room surfaces
  • Expanded space between waiting room chairs

Currently, Jefferson Health facilities have sufficient PPE. However, our entire country continues to be challenged with acquiring appropriate levels of PPE that are critical to health systems safely providing care. As a result, we will only perform care in a safe environment and scheduling of procedures will be heavily dependent on PPE availability. If we experience a PPE shortage in the future, we will need to reschedule or cancel procedures.

Physician and facility readiness to resume time-sensitive procedures and surgeries will vary by geographic location based on state and federal guidelines. Please contact your physician’s office for information regarding how and when to schedule your surgery or procedure.

The timing for rescheduling your procedure may vary based on location and a number of factors. In rescheduling procedures, Jefferson Health is taking into account state and federal guidelines, including those from the CDC and state health departments. This also includes executive orders from state governors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

If your scheduled procedure was postponed, we will call you to reschedule your appointment. Please also feel free to contact your physician office to inquire about available dates and times for rescheduling.

Once you are rescheduled, your physician’s office will contact you to discuss your individualized care plan and reorder any pre-admission testing that is required prior to the scheduled appointment/service. You may also be contacted by our Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) Center with further information.

In coordination with your provider, your appointment will be rescheduled directly through your provider’s practice or the JEFF NOW scheduling team.

Yes, you are required to be tested at least 48 hours prior to your procedure or surgery.

However, for a patient who has previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 3 months, they do not require COVID-19 testing if they are re-hospitalized or in need of a procedure.

Patients with minimal or no symptoms who are being re-hospitalized or preparing for a procedure, either inpatient or outpatient, repeat COVID-19 testing should not be performed unless it is beyond 3 months since the first positive test.

Of course, any patient with symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 should be tested and isolated, as medically indicated. If retesting of an asymptomatic individual is performed and returns positive, they do not need to be isolated. If there is any question in such cases, the most prudent approach is to isolate the patient and confer with an infectious disease physician.

Patients tested for coronavirus prior to surgery must be negative to continue surgery unless the surgery is an emergency as defined by relevant Department of Health Guidelines. If you test positive prior to your procedure or surgery, it will be postponed.

On the day of your procedure, you can expect to see the following safety precautions:

  • Upon arriving at the facility, you will be provided a mask that you will be required to wear throughout your visit.
  • We have visitor restrictions in place, and you will not be able to have anyone accompany you to our facilities unless you require assistance. If you do, you may have one adult companion with you to provide direct patient assistance. No children are allowed in our facilities at this time. Families are being asked to wait away from the facility while you undergo your procedure and return at time of your discharge.
  • Social distancing will be observed in all patient care areas. Patients will be physically spaced in waiting areas and barriers, such as curtains, will be used when needed.

Always adhering to guidelines set by the CDC and other local and state agencies, we have an unwavering commitment to safety and keeping the well-being of our patients, residents, associates and communities as our highest priority.

As soon as we are able, Jefferson Health will selectively expand clinical care within our facilities – including elective and time-sensitive procedures – based on patient needs, clinical criteria and physician recommendations. Jefferson Health is considering all state and federal guidelines, including those from the CDC and state health departments, as well as executive orders from state governors, in making these operational decisions.

If you have questions about your procedure, or if there has been any change in your clinical condition, please contact your provider’s office directly for an update on your case.

Jefferson Health will not permit any patient to undergo an elective surgery without being tested for coronavirus within 48 hours prior to their surgery and receiving a negative result. However, in limited cases, it is possible a patient can receive a false negative test result or can contract coronavirus in the community after testing. To guard against these limited potentials, Jefferson continues to take multiple precautions to protect against the spread of the virus.

No. While we take extensive precautions that are intended to prevent you from contracting the virus, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, so risk of contracting the virus exists generally. While Jefferson Health has made great efforts to reduce the risk of virus transmission to its patients, your treatment will involve you traveling away from your home and coming into contact with multiple people, just as you do when you enter any public location. Additionally, your post-surgical care may involve treatment by other providers at locations that are not owned or controlled by Jefferson Health.

A subsequent positive coronavirus diagnosis could result in unanticipated complications that require the need for additional medical treatment, and coronavirus positive status could increase procedural risks, including death. Because it is so new, the global medical community is still learning about coronavirus and there remains a good deal of uncertainty about the risks associated with this disease.