Following Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s guidance, Akron Children’s Hospital will be expanding the number and types of procedures available to its patients, as well as rescheduling surgeries and other appointments that were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are still finalizing our remobilization plans and clinical teams will be reaching out to families regarding those surgeries, procedures and in-office appointments that had been put on hold,” said Lisa Aurilio, chief operating officer for Akron Children’s. “We plan to proceed slowly as our top priority is the safety of our patient families and employees, and preventing the spread of the virus. We are also carefully watching the inventory of PPE, including gowns, masks, gloves and other supplies, given the global shortages.”
As Akron Children’s expands services to levels nearer the pre-pandemic volumes, patients will notice some differences when they return to its facilities. For example:
- The hospital campuses in Akron and Boardman have limited entrances, and they are equipped with screening stations where everyone entering the building will be screened for fever and other signs of illnesses.
- For outpatient visits, only 1 caregiver may accompany the patient.
- Everyone, including all employees, patient families and visitors older than age 2, is being asked to wear a face covering. Visitors who do not have a face covering when they arrive will be given a cloth mask. These masks will be collected at exit, professionally laundered and recycled due to limited supply.
- We are taking additional steps to ensure proper social distancing in all areas of our facilities and have increased our cleaning protocols to further prevent the spread of Covid-19. Floor decals and signage will remind visitors to keep a 6-foot distance from others, and cafeterias will be available for take-out food only.
- In our primary care and pediatric specialty offices, we will be implementing new text/call options (virtual waiting rooms) that will limit patients’ time in the waiting areas.
“Our providers are more than eager to see their patients again in person, but we will not, in any way, let down our guard in preventing the spread of the coronavirus,” Aurilio said. “Using telehealth technology to connect providers and patients became one of the true bright spots of the pandemic response, and that will continue to be an option for many patients.”
Additional details will be announced in coming days on Akron Children’s website and through its social media channels at @akronchildrens.