Latest on Important Elective Procedures
CHRISTUS Health is aware of Governor Abbott’s order to restrict elective surgeries in Bexar County, effective 11:59 p.m. on June 26. While we fully appreciate the concerns raised by the increased rate of cases in San Antonio and other areas, we also want to ensure that those in need of care from CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Alamo Heights and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio are not unnecessarily harmed or forced to delay needed procedures.
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – New Braunfels and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – San Marcos, as well as our ambulatory surgery centers, remain fully available for elective surgeries needed by patients in the area.
We completely understand and support the governor’s efforts to preserve critical hospital capacity needed to treat possible COVID-19 positive patients. Indeed, for the past several months and continuing today, we have made extensive efforts to ensure the availability of hospital capacity throughout the pandemic. It is also critically important to avoid delaying certain procedures related to heart disease, cancer, vision problems and pain management that could cause undue medical hardships for many patients. In many cases, such procedures not only help to improve a patient’s quality of life, they actually extend the patient’s life. Delaying or deferring these procedures for an extended period of time may also have the adverse effect of causing a surge in non-COVID-19 related illnesses.
For children served by The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, procedures are typically prioritized as emergent or non-emergent. A child with a congenital disease or chronic condition may not realistically be able to wait on their procedure, as the delay may be detrimental to their growth and development. For example, kids needing ear tubes can be negatively affected with recurrent infections, hearing loss and speech delays.
We have designated physician review teams at all our CHRISTUS facilities to closely consider proposed elective procedures to determine what course of action is in the best interest of the patient. Once this has been determined, we will reach out to those with scheduled cases that this team has determined can safely wait through the pause.
It is always our priority to ensure the safety of our patients, Associates and physicians. Our COVID-19 Safe Care Program has played a vital role in promoting safety during the resumption of elective surgeries and procedures. Under this program, our staff have been properly screened and tested as appropriate for COVID-19. We also screen for asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among our Associates, physicians and surgical patients through antibody testing.
For the safety of all patients, Associates and physicians, and in the interest of limiting exposure to respiratory illness associated with COVID-19, we limit visitors at our CHRISTUS Santa Rosa hospitals. We require everyone entering our CHRISTUS Santa Rosa facilities to wear a mask. And we have been able to secure the capacity of PPE needed to safely treat the full spectrum of medical conditions and patient needs.
There is critical work that needs to be done in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in Bexar County, and CHRISTUS Health is here to answer the call to help our community – today and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping our community, our caregivers and our Associates safe. We are here and ready when you need care.
Visitation Guidelines and COVID Screening Procedures - Effective June 23, 2020
For the safety of all patients and Associates and in the interest of limiting exposure to respiratory illness associated with the COVID-19 virus, it is necessary to adjust visitor policies at all of our locations. At this time, no visitors are allowed at any CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital in Alamo Heights, Medical Center, Westover Hills, New Braunfels and San Marcos.
- One support person whose presence is essential to maintain safety and who is part of the patient’s care and recovery process and must meet approval of nursing leadership. This applies for inpatients, Labor and Delivery, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. One parent may remain as a support person with pediatric patients. The support person may enter the hospital and must proceed directly to the patient’s room and remain in that location until departure.
- One support person for patients undergoing day surgery. Upon entry to the hospital, the support person must remain in designated waiting areas until accompanying the patient at discharge.
- Visitation by a military member departing on deployment
- On a case-by-case basis at end of life.
Individuals designated to be the support person for a patient must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Wear a mask at all times while in the hospital
- Have no close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 within the past 14 days
- Have no signs or symptoms of lower respiratory illness
- Follow social distancing guidelines
UPDATE- APRIL 7: UNIVERSAL MASKING
The health and safety of our patients, visitors, Associates and our communities remain of utmost importance. Beginning Monday, April 6, patients and visitors will be required to bring their own mask to wear while in our hospitals or outpatient clinics. You can learn more about how to make your own cloth masks by visiting the CDC website. Our health professionals providing care for presumed COVID-19 or known COVID-19 patients are expected to wear N95 respirator masks. Hospitalized patients do not have to wear a mask while in their rooms.
UPDATE - MARCH 23:
Effective Tuesday, March 24, Central Texas Medical Center will implement a “no visitor” policy in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety for our patients, team members, providers and community.
Exceptions will be made for the following:
- Laboring and post-partum patients
- Patients requiring surgery or other medical procedure
- Patients with disabilities, impairments or who are elderly
- Patients in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
- Patients requiring end-of-life care
- For these patient populations, one healthy registered visitor per day, between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., who is at least 18 years of age will be allowed.
UPDATE - MARCH 20:
As we continue to proactively implement precautions to ensure the safety for our patients, team members, providers and community, we want to emphasize we do not have onsite testing capabilities for COVID-19. Please refer to the CDC guidelines for the latest information.
March 13, 2020:
Central Texas Medical Center is committed to the health and safety of our patients, team members, providers and community. Special procedures and precautions have been activated to prepare our hospital and clinics for COVID-19. Effective Tuesday, March 17 at 6:00 a.m. we will begin implementing the following precautions:
Restricting hospital access to two entry points. The main entrance can be accessed from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the Emergency Department entrance can be accessed 24/7
Visitation hours will be limited to 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Each patient is allowed one healthy registered visitor per day who is at least 18 years of age
Each person entering the hospital through one of the access points will go through a health screening process
We continue to work closely with health agencies as the situation evolves, including following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to ensure best-practice care based on the continuing developments.
For more information on COVID-19, including ongoing updates, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, cdc.gov.