From Loma Linda University Health – 29 March 2020 | Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and fluidity of the current situation, Loma Linda University Health leadership, clinical experts and frontline providers are maintaining a constant focus on managing the organization’s response. Briefings are held at least twice daily with representation from all six hospitals and ambulatory clinics to review and discuss the needs, challenges and available resources, including daily census, supplies on hand, and proactive measures to ensure employee safety.

All employees across the organization are receiving daily communication on the latest information and processes in place to keep them safe and minimize the spread of infection.

Physicians and care providers are deeply committed to caring for their patients and are diligent about following the measures and processes that have been implemented in light of COVID-19:

Employee screening

All hospital employees are being screened before entrance to work, or on their unit. They will receive a temperature check and be screened for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. If an employee screens positive to one of the criteria, they will not be allowed to work and must follow CDC and LLUH established guidelines to be cleared to return to work.

Patient screening

Areas for patient screenings have been designated around campus. All patients are screened upon entrance into any of the facilities. Two medical surge tents were erected outside the emergency department, which can serve as a negative pressure/isolation space that is suitable for screening patients under investigation for infectious disease, such as flu or COVID-19. The tents are currently being utilized for patient care as deemed appropriate by hospital staff. A third tent is currently being set up alongside the existing two to be used for the same purpose.

Telehealth

Many outpatient visits have now been moved to video visits for patients to still be able to speak with their provider while limiting physical contact. Our providers are committed to ensuring all patients have access to the care they need during this time. Patients can schedule virtual or telephone visits by visiting MyChart or calling their primary care provider.

Visitor restrictions

For the safety of our patients and staff, visitors are not allowed in any of the adult hospitals. Humanitarian exceptions will be allowed and will be determined by the charge nurse of the respective unit.

Children’s Hospital put guidelines in place which allow for two approved visitors per patient, although only one visitor may be with the patient at any time.

All visitors are being screened for symptoms upon entry to all LLUH hospitals and clinics.

Separate COVID Units and ICUs

In preparation for a possible influx of COVID-19 patients, Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital have designated isolation units to mitigate the spread of infection for adult and pediatric patients who are under investigation — or have tested positive — for COVID-19.

LLU Aid

To lighten the tremendous burden on Loma Linda University Health providers, several students from the School of Medicine formed a platform called LLU Aid. This group coordinates and mobilizes students to support and serve the anticipatory urgent needs of the entire LLUH workforce during this COVID-19 pandemic. They have launched this initiative with medical students and are planning to expand this to other Loma Linda University programs. There is already a list of students ready to serve. This project consists of a student volunteer-to-healthcare provider matching process where students can volunteer to help providers who request help with errands, including grocery or food delivery, pet sitting, and/or wellness support such as prayer, Bible study or check-ins.

Commencement

As a healthcare sciences institution, we place the highest importance on the welfare and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and our community-at-large.

Given the evolving public health situation associated with COVID-19, and following CDC guidelines and state mandates, Loma Linda University has decided that in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 22-24, and June 12-14, 2020, will not take place.

Knowing how important these ceremonies are to our graduates and their families, we are committed to finding the best way possible to recognize the efforts and accomplishment of our graduates; and we are currently exploring a number of options.

How the community can help:

Several community members have already reached out to offer support during this unprecedented time, and we are forever appreciative. To learn more about how you can help ensure our students and healthcare workers are protected and have adequate supplies, visit the COVID-19 support page.

For the latest information on how to prevent the spread of infection, visit the Loma Linda University Health coronavirus webpage or the CDC website.

About Loma Linda University Health

Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and more than 1,000 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, Loma Linda University Health is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to over 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

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