/Changes in location visitation for acute care this week 

Changes in location visitation for acute care this week 

By Sue Tiffin

Changes are being made to the acute care services at Haliburton Highlands
Health Services, with visits to acute care patients being reintroduced, and a move of patients at the acute care unit in Minden back to Haliburton this week.
In a biweekly community update shared July 20, HHHS CAO Carolyn Plummer said HHHS had been reviewing the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the Ontario Hospital Association regarding family and caregiver visitations of those in acute care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“HHHS is finalizing a new ‘Care Partner’ policy that will allow for limited visits of acute care patients by people (family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and community members) who provide important personal, social, psychological and physical support,” said Plummer. “Care Partners will be required to pass COVID-19 screening prior to entry to the hospital, and will need to follow a number of protocols, similar to those in place for visitors to long-term care residents. HHHS will make this information available to the community once it has been finalized, as well as to anyone who wishes to visit a patient in acute care.”
HHHS also has a Virtual Visit program in place, in which family and friends can connect with patients over the internet.
“Our goal is to balance the need to protect the health and safety of our
patients and health care workers, while considering the physical, social, and emotional well-being of patients, their families and caregivers,” said Plummer in the update.
On July 21, HHHS planned to move patients back to Haliburton from the acute care unit that was created at the Minden site in early April in an effort to help decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between patients and increase bed capacity in case of a possible surge of COVID-19 positive patients.
“HHHS will still be able to maintain separation of suspect or diagnosed
COVID-19 positive patients from others in the acute care unit in Haliburton,” said Plummer. “We are working diligently to ensure that the
space in Haliburton and our processes will continue to maintain the highest standards of patient safety.”
Plummer said HHHS would be able to make additional improvements to the space and equipment available at the Minden site, so that it could be safely used again if required at a later date.
“We are extremely proud of all of our HHHS staff and managers who were able to quickly adapt an unconventional space, while providing the same excellence in quality patient care,” said Plummer.