COVID-19 Safety Frequently Asked Questions
Helping Keep You and Our Community Safe
At TMC Bonham Hospital patient safety is always our top priority. Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding the extraordinary measures we are taking during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep patients, physicians, staff and the community safe.
Q: What steps has the hospital taken to help ensure the ongoing health and safety of patients, physicians, staff, and the community?
In light of COVID-19, we are following the guidelines of the State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our local Infection Control and Prevention Team. We have implemented extra precautionary measures and additional protocols to help ensure a safe and clean environment for our patients, physicians, staff and community. These include, but are not limited to:
- Masking of all persons entering the hospital
- Isolation of patients with COVID-19
- COVID-19 testing of patients prior to elective surgery
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff
- Temperature checks
- Screening questions upon entrance
- Suspension of visitation, except with limited exceptions
- Allowing patients one designated caregiver at a time
- Rigorous cleaning and disinfection
- UV light disinfection
Q: What does limited visitation mean?
Consistent with city and county efforts around social distancing to limit the exposure to individuals who may have contracted COVID-19, but are at that time asymptomatic, we have revised our Visitor and Caregiver Guidelines to help protect our patients and our community.
During this unprecedented time, visitors are not permitted, except with limited exceptions such as in compassionate care/end-of-life situations. In these cases, visitors will be limited to a specific room only and must wear a mask, which they are asked to bring with them. Patients are allowed only one designated caregiver at a time. We ask that patients provide the name of their designated caregiver at pre-assessment for their procedure, or to nursing on admission. If the patient is unable to designate a caregiver, the patient’s family or legal representative will be able to designate a caregiver. Caregivers and visitors will be screened upon entering our facilities and will be required to wear a mask at all times.
Q: Is it safe to go to the Emergency Department when experiencing a medical emergency?
Yes. As mentioned above, the hospital has taken extra measures to help keep everyone safe, including the separation and isolation of patients suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19. During this time, physicians, nurses and staff are delivering safe, trusted quality emergent care every hour, every day. Seeking critical emergency care can be life-saving. If a person experiences symptoms such as chest pain, numbness, difficulty breathing or mental confusion or has serious medical injuries, they (or someone else if present) must call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Room – it could save a life.
Q: Can a person seeking emergency care in the ER or coming to the hospital for Outpatient Surgery be accompanied by a family member or friend?
At this time, one designated caregiver may accompany a person seeking care in the ER. Caregivers must stay in the specific room/bay assigned to the person until discharge. If the person is admitted to the hospital, the designated caregiver will be allowed to be with the patient between the hours of 8:30 am – 7:30 pm.
For those coming to the hospital for outpatient surgery, our current guidelines allow for one designated caregiver to accompany the patient for pre-op and post-op consult in outpatient surgery areas. Caregivers are permitted to wait in the surgery waiting room during the patient’s procedure, but may not leave that waiting room, must wear their mask at all times, and must practice social distancing.
Any non-caregiver dropping off a patient for surgery will be notified via cell phone when the patient is ready to be given their discharge information and picked up. If the patient is admitted, a designated caregiver will be allowed to be with the patient between the hours of 8:30 am – 7:30 pm. At this time, we are still not allowing visitors except with limited exceptions. Again, these measures have been taken to help ensure everyone’s safety.
Q: When should an individual suspected with or confirmed positive for COVID-19 go to the Emergency Department?
Individuals with mild or moderate symptoms are advised to call their healthcare provider or to visit an urgent care center. If symptoms intensify and cannot be managed at home, individuals should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest ER.
Q: What should a person expect upon arrival to TMC Bonham Hospital?
Upon arrival at the hospital, all persons are subject to a temperature check and CDC COVID-19 screening questions. Any patient that has symptoms or has had contact with a person suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19 will be separated and isolated. If a caregiver or visitor has been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 person within the last 14 days or who has had a cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or flu-like symptoms in the last 48 hours will be prohibited from entering the hospital.
These steps will help prohibit people with symptoms or risk factors from entering the building.
Q: If a patient is required to have a pre-operative clearance visit and preadmission testing, are virtual options available?
Virtual visits are not available for pre-operative clearance. For information about pre-admission testing including scheduled hours and laboratory options, please contact your primary care physician’s office directly.
Q: How far in advance should a patient schedule pre-operative testing?
We recommend patients plan ahead to ensure all pre-operative testing requirements are completed prior to surgery. The physician’s office will provide you with your pre-operative testing date. If you need to cancel or make changes to the date, please contact your physician’s office.
Q: If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 during pre-admission testing, how will their surgery be affected?
Patients testing positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days. The hospital will re-test the patient prior to scheduling a new surgery date.
Q: With visitation restricted, how can patients connect with loved ones before and after surgery?
Patients can utilize virtual options such as phone calls, Face Time, Zoom, Skype and other communications on their mobile device before and after surgery.
Q: What is the hospital doing to help ensure appropriate social distancing?
The hospital has marked 6-foot distances within the common areas of the hospital. Everyone is asked to adhere to social distancing etiquette.
Q: Are masks required?
Anyone entering the hospital is required to wear a mask. We encourage caregivers to wear their own mask, but if one is needed, the screener at our facility entrances will provide one. Masks must be worn at all times, and must fully cover your nose and mouth.
Q: When did elective (non-essential) surgeries and procedures resume at TMC Bonham Hospital?
The hospital resumed elective cases on April 23, 2020.