SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital is not changing the hospital’s current “No Visitors” policy.
The governor’s recent directive allows each hospital to reconsider its visitation policies and use its best judgment. Following a careful assessment of our current “No Visitors” policy, including consulting with our nursing and physician leadership, we have come to the conclusion that the safeguards provided by restricting visitation is in the best interest of our patients and our staff.
This is particularly important as we witness the volatility of the spread of the virus in other regions across the country and new travel quarantines being implemented.
As of this week, and since June 12, Saratoga Hospital has had no COVID-19 positive inpatients. Since the beginning of this crisis, Saratoga Hospital has also had no hospital-acquired COVID-19 infections. And early on in this crisis, Saratoga Hospital was the first and only hospital in the region to institute an advanced testing protocol for patients to be rapid-tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to the hospital. Knowing every patient’s status allowed the hospital staff to manage a patient’s stay much more efficiently and effectively, increasing patient and staff safety and increasing confidence in our hospital.
When essential elective procedures were allowed to restart in late April after being postponed by NYSDOH directives, all patients were required to be tested before any surgeries or procedures were performed. No COVID-19 positive patient was allowed to undergo a procedure until subsequently testing negative.
In short, every policy and protocol we have enacted has made Saratoga Hospital safer for our patients, our staff, and our community. With that level of success in our safety plan implementation, we feel it is best to continue to enforce a “No Visitor” policy and continue to reduce risk.
We understand and respect the frustration this may place on our patients, their families and friends. We have always made compassionate exceptions, made on a case-by-case basis as directed by our patient care team. When possible, we assist patients with iPad or smartphone virtual visits. And we have made our Inpatient Transition Program team available for personal phone calls to families to provide extra comfort and answer questions they may have. Each of these efforts was part of our visitation policy assessment.
We will continue to monitor and reassess the policy. The current visitation policy is available on the hospital’s website: SaratogaHospital.org/COVID19.