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The visitor restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic have likely led to some broken hearts, as families are kept from visiting hospitalized loved ones for safety reasons.
But even if you can’t physically be with your loved one in the hospital, our Patient Experience team is working hard to ensure you can still connect.
“We’re doing everything we can to help our patients and families feel like they’re not alone,” says Doug Johnson, Patient Experience Officer for Edward-Elmhurst Health. “We’re helping them stay connected.”
In one case, a nurse helped set up a call between a patient and her sister and niece at home while the patient was being extubated. As soon as her breathing tube was removed, the patient was able to see the familiar faces of her family.
“The first thing she said was ‘I love you,’” says Megan Sulich, Patient Experience Manager at Elmhurst Hospital.
The current visitor restrictions are in place to keep everyone safe, including the people who would be visiting, Johnson says.
While COVID-19 precautions are keeping most visitors out of the hospital at this time, there are some situations where exceptions are being made, such as for patients entering labor and delivery, pediatric patients or patients nearing end of life.
But even when visitors are allowed, those exceptions are being made on a case-by-case basis and only when it can be done safely.
Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Patient Experience team offers four ways to help families stay connected with their loved one in the hospital:
Sulich says the video calls are an option for patients who cannot make the calls themselves or do not have access to that feature on their own cell phones. Sulich tries to schedule the calls at a time when it’s most meaningful for the patients.
She says the video calls also help nurses and other medical staff connect with the families and gives the families a chance to see what is happening with their loved one. With the many families navigating COVID-19 and its unknowns, the opportunity for families and patients to see each other, even if they cannot be together, helps ease their concerns.
“As we all navigate the unknown, we are creating safe, seamless and personal experiences to help our patients and their families feel connected and not alone,” Johnson says.
To reach the Patient Experience team at Edward Hospital, please call 630-527-5725. Call 331-221-0196 to reach the Patient Experience team at Elmhurst Hospital.
See the latest updates to our visitor policy.
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The information in this article may change at any time due to the changing landscape of this pandemic. Read the latest on COVID-19.
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