Your Health, Our Heroes

Frequently Asked Questions for Patients

Is the hospital clean and safe? 

Our hospital is clean and safe -- just like it always has been! One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the cleanliness of our physical facility. We partner with a national environmental services vendor to keep our hospital current on the most effective cleaning and disinfection protocols available in healthcare today. Some of the measures we take include:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting of patient areas twice a day.  
  • Increasing to three times per day cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, halls and high touch areas including all waiting areas, entrances, elevators and restrooms.  
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of all other areas of the hospital daily.
  • Compliance with infection prevention best practices.
  • Isolation precaution cleaning procedures & PPE for healthcare personnel entering a COVID-19 patient care area.
  • Isolating positive or suspected COVID-19 patients on a specialized unit that is disconnected from the remainder of our hospital. Negative-pressure air units are in place to ensure that the airflow from these areas of the hospital remains separate from our other patient, visitor and staff areas.

To learn more about how we are keeping our patients safe during COVID-19 visit: www.southerntnwinchester.com/news/keeping-our-patients-safe-during-covid-19

Do you have the supplies and capacity to accommodate my procedure? 

Our clinical teams will conduct twice daily "go/no-go" meetings in which they will review crucial supplies such as PPE, medications, blood, space and staffing to ensure that we have enough to comfortably care for those undergoing elective/non-urgent procedures AND accommodate our normal emergency care and potential COVID-19 patients.

We are not booking our schedules to full capacity. Out of an abundance of caution and with the conservation of supplies in mind, we are not starting with a full schedule right away. Should things continue to progress positively, we'll increase our capacity on a week-by-week basis. This is for your safety and ours.

Do you have enough staff to resume elective/non-urgent procedures?

Our team regularly monitors staffing levels to ensure a safe environment for all patients, providers and employees. In addition, we screen all employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms. We are confident that we have the appropriate staff and providers to resume elective and non-urgent procedures while also accommodating our normal emergency care and potential COVID-19 patients. 

Will my experience be the same as in the past? 

Your experience in our facility may look a little different than in the past, but this is because we have new processes and procedures in place to further protect your health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What should I expect during my procedure?

Upon arrival at the facility, you will be asked the same standard screening questions and provided with a cloth mask (if you do not already have one). If you have your own mask or bandana to cover your mouth and nose, you can wear that. 

Learn about our visitor restrictions here.

You may never see another patient while you are here, and that is intentional for now. We are currently trying to minimize overlap in an effort to promote social distancing, conserve resources, and protect the safety of all of our patients and employees.

You are going to be asked COVID-19 screening questions multiple times by multiple people, up until you are admitted for your procedure. You may get tired of these questions, but we assure you they are for your health and safety, and that of our staff. 

You may never see the faces of your care team members under their protective equipment. We do regret this, as the personal connections we have with our patients and community are what keep us going. However, this is an important precaution we are taking to protect you and our clinical staff.

What questions will I be asked during the screening? 

The questions are part of our standard COVID-19 screening process and include asking if you have....

  • Cough 
  • Shortness of Breath

     Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Whenever you are asked, please answer these screening questions honestly. If your procedure has to be postponed, it will be just that: postponed. It does NOT mean it will be canceled, and we will work with you to reschedule as soon as possible.

How will I prepare for my procedure? 

If you are having a surgical procedure, you will be asked to practice "safer at home" behaviors for seven (7) days to minimize potential exposure prior to your procedure. This means going a step further from social distancing -- trying only to leave your home for critical needs such as groceries or going to the pharmacy. If you need to leave for an essential purpose, you must wear a mask. You also will be asked to check your temperature twice a day during this seven-day period and report any result above 100°F to your provider. Finally, you will be tested for COVID-19 prior to your procedure as an additional precaution.

If you are having an imaging procedure, you will be screened and masked, but not tested for COVID-19.

Will I be tested for COVID-19? 

If you are having a surgical procedure, you will be tested for COVID-19 prior to your procedure. Your provider will place the order for the test, and the hospital will reach out with instructions for scheduling. If your test happens to be positive, your procedure will be postponed, and you will be given instructions related to your care. If you are having an imaging procedure, you will be screened and masked, but not tested for COVID-19.

Can my family member/spouse/friend/caregiver come with me to the facility?

If you have a family member/spouse/friend/caregiver with you, he/she will not be permitted to enter the hospital. We are still operating under limited visitor protocol out of an abundance of caution. When you arrive, you will park and enter through the Emergency Room entrance.  We have golf carts on site that can transport you to the Emergency Room entrance.  You may also be dropped off by your family member/spouse/friend/caregiver at the Emergency Room entrance.  Lear more about our visitor restrictions here.

What happens when I arrive for my procedure? 

When you arrive at the facility, you will be asked the same standard screening questions and provided with a cloth mask (if you do not already have one). If you have your own mask or bandana to cover your mouth and nose, you can wear that.

Will I be treated near COVID-19 patients? 

We are not performing elective/non-urgent procedures on COVID-19 positive patients at this time.
All patients who test positive for an infectious disease, including COVID-19, are isolated for treatment in accordance with Tennessee Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Our hospital has a dedicated isolation wing for treatment of patients under investigation (PUIs) and patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

If I have additional questions about my procedure, who should I contact? 

If you have any questions, please call our team at 931.967.8200.