Hiawatha Community Hospital Leadership have been monitoring the spread of COVID in Kansas and Nationally. We have established our Incident Command and identified strategies to operate the hospital and more importantly set benchmarks on when we need to implement additional strategies to protect the patients and the health care staff and providers. Based upon the spread of COVID in Kansas we are making the following changes: Effective Friday, March 20, upon the recommendation of CMS we have cancelled elective surgeries at HCH. The surgeons have been notified. Secondly, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, we will be implementing complete visitor restrictions to protect the health of our patients and health care staff. This does not mean we will be discontinuing outpatient services such as lab, radiology, therapy, pain management, specialty clinic, etc.
Patients scheduled for family practice clinic, lab, radiology, pain management, therapy, some specialty clinic, and other services will be screened, their temperature taken, and they will have a sticker indicating the screening process has been completed. To ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff, Hiawatha Community Hospital, Hiawatha Community Hospital Family Practice Clinic and HCH Highland Clinic, are limiting the number of persons accompanying clinic patients and outpatients. We ask that only the patient and one parent or guardian accompany the patient to their appointment.
What this means for you and your loved ones:
No visitors will be allowed to visit our inpatients. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Examples of exceptions: one (1) person for pediatric patients, ER patients, patients on end of life care, and laboring mothers.
If patients have COVID symptoms, we encourage you call before coming to the hospital or the clinic. We have a dedicated nurse/provider available assist. If the patient has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we may arrange for the patient to drive to the hospital and staff in their personal protective equipment (PPE) will do the necessary testing while the patient is in their car. This has worked very well. Patients will be asked to home quarantine until the results of the test are available. We will do some tests locally, and if negative, the sample will be sent to a reference lab for analysis. Due to the number of tests, we also want you to know that it may take 3-4 days before we have the COVID results back. To date, we have done nine drive by collections. 4 have tested positive for other illnesses that rule out COVID. 9 tests have been sent to the state. 4 have been negative and 4 are pending state report. As of Monday March 23, there has not been a positive case in Brown County. It is important to understand that we have to assume there is COVID virus in the community and strongly encourage to stay at home, hand hygiene and social distancing. This will help to Stop the Spread of this virus and Flatten the Curve.
HCH staff will be monitoring the East and West Entrance and ER Entrance. Therapy patients will enter the Southwest door. Those patients will be screened by the respective staff.
The public will be asked appropriate screening questions about symptoms, travel history and have their temperature taken by a member of HCH staff in the main lobby. After screening, the staff will discuss the plan with anyone that may need further evaluation for COVID-19
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call ahead to HCH (785) 742-2131 so we can direct you to the COVID dedicated line to be screened for testing.
The Cafeteria will be closed to the public.
In addition to enforcing these restrictions, each of us can make a difference to help reduce the spread of illnesses by taking a few simple steps, including staying home if you are sick, regularly washing your hands, covering your cough, and limiting social interactions, when possible.