All posts by Michelle Benjamin

Schuyler Hospital Changing Public Entrance to Main Lobby

Starting Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 6 a.m., the entrance to Schuyler Hospital will be changed to the Main Lobby Entrance, where all outpatients and Medical-Surgical visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors, and temperatures taken.

Emergency Department patients should continue to use the Emergency Department entrance.

The Hospital Main Lobby Entrance is to be utilized by all hospital outpatients and Medical-Surgical visitors Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Note that Medical-Surgical visitation is restricted to one person at a time, Monday-Friday 3-7 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Visitors must comply with Cayuga Health visitation guidelines.

Aside from these hours, outpatients and visitors should enter through the Emergency Department admissions area for screening.

With questions, please contact Schuyler Hospital at (607) 535-7121 or email info@schuylerhospital.org.

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Seneca View COVID-19 Update for Residents and Families Regarding Visitation 7 10 2020

July 10, 2020

To all Staff, Residents, and Families:

Today the Department of Health announced a program that provides for a limited reduction of nursing home visit restrictions.  Using the new guidelines, nursing homes must create and submit an application to DOH for approval.  Seneca View is in the process of learning about these new guidelines and compiling an application.

Once it is approved by DOH we will be able to implement our plan.  However, the volume and frequency of visitors will be limited to special criteria as established by DOH.

We will provide you more information as it becomes available.

Thank you!

Patrick J. Ryan
Executive Director LTC Services
Administrator – Seneca View Skilled Nursing

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Visitation Policy for Schuyler Hospital, as of June 29, 2020

SCHUYLER HOSPITAL POLICY & PROCEDURE

POLICY STATEMENT: Separation of patients and their loved ones during a hospitalization can cause significant stress and anxiety, and the opportunity to visit hospitalized patients must be done in a manner that continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and wellbeing of patients, staff, and visitors. In recognition of this need, and to ensure a safe environment of care while permitting is expanded, the following outlines our visitation procedure.

PURPOSE: COVID-19 has been detected in multiple communities around New York State. Visitors may introduce COVID-19 infection into the hospital. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued visitor limitation guidance to hospitals to protect and maintain the health and safety of both patients and staff during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

 

Definitions:

MEDICALLY NECESSARY/SUPPORT PERSON – The person is essential to the patients care.

Examples:

    • Vendors bring supplies for patient care.
    • Friend or family member who is the primary care giver of a patient being discharged and needs to be educated to patient care. This may be done through remote communication is feasible. If discharge instructions are complex (i.e. require return demonstration or hands on learning) consult with leadership on how to best accomplish the need.

NYSDOH allows us to permit a patient support person at the patient bedside for:

    • Patients in labor and delivery;
    • Pediatric patients;
    • Patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary) including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia. See under procedure section for details.

VISITOR– The person is non-essential to the patients care. Any stated patient care need can be managed by staff at the hospital.  This person is there for the comfort of the patient.

IMMINENT END OF LIFE SITUATION – Situation where death is imminent as determined by medical provider and anticipated within the next 24 hours.

NOTE: A PATIENT IS NOT A VISITOR

 

PROCEDURE:

Determine if the person is a Visitor or Medically Necessary/Support Person to the patient’s care.

Visitors and support people must undergo symptom and temperature checks upon entering the facility, and shall be denied entry if they report significant COVID-19 exposure or symptoms during the prior 14 days or have a temperature equal to or greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Upon entry into the facility all visitors and support people will be provided a badge that must be worn at all times.

Name and contact information for visitors, the date(s) of their visits, and the name of the patient(s) visited are maintained in an electronic format by the facility.

Follow entry screen protocol at all designated entrances.

 

MEDICALLY NECESSARY/SUPPORT PERSON

  • For pediatric patients, the NYSDOH considers one support person at a time as essential to patient care in the emergency department or during hospitalization. For hospitalized pediatric patients, especially with prolonged hospitalizations, the patient or family/caregiver may designate two support people; but only one support person may be present at a time. This restriction must be explained to the patient’s family/caregivers in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital. Hospital staff should ensure that the
    family/caregiver fully understand this restriction. Individuals age 70 years or older, are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.
  • For patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary) including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia, the NYSDOH considers one support person at a time as essential to patient care in the emergency room or during hospitalization. For these hospitalized patients, especially with prolonged hospitalizations, the patient or family/caregiver may designate two support people but only one support person may be present at a time. This support person can be the patient’s family, caregiver, or another person they chose. In these settings, the person will be the only support person allowed to be present during the patient’s care. This restriction must be explained to the patient and support person in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital. Hospital staff should ensure that the patients fully understand this restriction, allowing them to decide who they wish to identify as their support person. Individuals age 70 years or older, are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.
  • For patients in imminent end-of-life situations, the NYSDOH considers one family member and/or legal representative at a time as a support person who should be permitted at the patient bedside. The NYSDOH defines imminent end-of-life situations as a patient who is actively dying, where death is anticipated within less than 24 hours. The patient and/or family/caregiver may designate up to two support people; but only one support person may be present at a time. In the event the patient is a parent of a minor child, one adult family member and one child may be permitted at the patient bedside. This restriction must be explained to the patient and/or support person in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital. Hospital staff should ensure that patients and/or support person fully understand this restriction. Individuals age 70 years or older, are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

 

The support person of a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who has been a close contact of the patient has potentially already been exposed to COVID-19. These support persons should:

  • Wear a surgical or procedure mask throughout their time in the hospital ,
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene,
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital; and
  • While in the room, a gown and gloves should be worn to prevent the person’s hands or clothes from becoming contaminated. Eye protection should be worn while in the room if available.

 

If the support person of a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has not been a close contact of the patient and does not have a history of confirmed COVID-19, the support person should:

  • Wear a surgical or procedure mask throughout their time in the hospital,
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene,
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital, and
  • While in the patient’s room, a gown and gloves should be worn to prevent the person’s hands or clothes from becoming contaminated. Eye protection should be worn while in the room if available.
  • Again, in these circumstances the risks of acquiring COVID-19 should be fully explained, so that the patient and support person can make an informed decision of whether or not the support person’s presence at the patient bedside is essential to the patient’s health.

 

If the patient does not have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the support person should:

  • Wear a surgical or procedure mask throughout their time in the hospital,
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene, and
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital.

Hospital staff must screen the support person for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or diarrhea) and conduct a temperature check prior to entering the clinical area and every twelve hours thereafter for the remainder of their presence at the bedside. When providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to a support person, instructions on PPE conservation strategies should be provided to minimize unnecessary waste (i.e. prolonged wearing).

If a support person has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or presents with or develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be excluded from the facility.  There are no exceptions to this rule. In this situation, through informed decision making the patient and family may choose to select a different support person. Signage will be placed at all hospital entries and parking lots to inform visitors of new COVID–19 visitation restrictions. This policy will be posted, and made available.

 

VISITORS

ALL INSTANCES WHERE “OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED” IS UTILIZED TO DEVIATE FROM THE SPECIFIC VISITATION  LIMITATION MUST BE AUTHORIZED BY THE Administrator On Call (AOC).

  • Visits are limited to no more than four hours per day per patient, unless otherwise authorized by the hospital, depending on the patient’s status and condition;
  • Total time for all visitors cannot exceed the four-hour maximum, unless otherwise authorized by the hospital. However, the facility can determine the appropriate visiting hours within this requirement;
  • Visitors are limited to one person at a time unless at hospital’s discretion a limited number of additional persons is determined to be appropriate to allow at the bedside;
  • Patients undergoing same day procedures may be accompanied to the facility by a companion and that companion may remain with the patient through the initial intake process; and may rejoin the patient for the discharge process;
  • Visitors may not be present during procedures and recovery room except for pediatrics, childbirth, and patients with an intellectual, developmental, or other cognitive disability as listed in the NYSDH’s May 20th Revised Visitation Guidance;
  • Visitors are provided with and must wear appropriate personal protective equipment as recommended by the NYSDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • Visitors must be advised how to perform meticulous hand hygiene and how to wear the PPE, and must adhere to such procedures;
  • Visitors who fail to wear a face mask and other PPE will be asked to leave the facility;
  • Visitors must undergo symptom and temperature checks upon entering the facility, and shall be denied entry if they report significant COVID-19 exposure or symptoms during the prior 14 days or have a temperature equal to or greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • Once in the facility, visitors must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit except when directed by hospital staff to leave during aerosol-generating procedures or other procedures during which visitors are usually asked to leave;
  • Health care providers should provide written information to visitors and/or discuss the potential risks and benefits of the visitor’s presence with the visitor and, depending upon the patient’s condition, the patient;
  • All visitors are greater than 18 years of age except in rare exceptions as determined by the hospital;
  • Name and contact information for visitors, the date(s) of their visits, and the name of the patient(s) visited are maintained in an electronic format by facility; and
  • Details about the facility’s current visitation policy, including participation in the hospital visitation program, are posted on the facility’s webpage. 

Alternate methods of communication for patients in the hospital will be used as appropriate to individual patient ability and medical status (audio, visual). This may include use of electronic devices with video ability that are hospital owned, or patient owned devices. CDC recommendations for cleaning will occur after each patient use.

Any visitor with questions or concerns regarding the COVID – 19 visitation restriction policy will be referred to leadership.

 

Health Insurance Portability and Accountable Act (HIPAA) Considerations

The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows patient information to be shared to assist in nationwide public health emergencies, and to assist patients in receiving the care they need. This is important to consider when visitation is suspended and use of alternative remote methods of communication with family and friends is utilized.

Under Pandemic Public Health Crisis hospitals will not be penalized for failing to comply with HIPAA and the following requirements are waived to facilitate communication and patient care.

  • to obtain a patient’s agreement to speak with family members or friends involved in the patient’s care • the requirement to honor a request to opt out of the facility directory
  • to distribute a notice of privacy practices
  • to request privacy restrictions
  • the patient’s right to request confidential communications

The HIPAA Privacy Rule for releasing the minimum necessary for the care and treatment of a patient remains. Should detailed or complex medical information need to be relayed to a patient’s family or friend, medical staff should make effort to directly convey this information.

 

Effective June 29, 2020

Subject to Change

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Schuyler Hospital COVID-19 Testing Site Changing Hours

Schuyler Hospital has announced that they are changing the hours for their COVID-19 Testing Site starting Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

The testing site at 220 Steuben Street, Montour Falls – available to essential businesses – will be open Monday and Friday mornings, and Wednesday afternoons by appointment only. Businesses must pre-register by calling the Hospital at (607) 535-8639 extension 2718. Appointment times will be assigned during the call. An on-line application is also being developed.

Schuyler Hospital’s COVID-19 testing site is available to essential businesses reopening in the region under Phase 1 and Phase 2 of New York State’s guidelines. They will continue to offer drive through services for anyone with a doctor’s order during this time.

Testing is required to meet NYS guidelines and ensure the safety of our workplaces and community. As directed by Governor Cuomo, COVID-19 testing is free for all New Yorkers, regardless of health insurance.

“Schuyler Hospital is proud to be a community partner in combatting the COVID-19 virus,” states Rebecca Gould, Schuyler Hospital President and CFO. “We encourage business and front-line essential workers to be tested to ensure the protection of their staff, the business, and the community we serve.”

“Schuyler  Hospital and Cayuga Health have been an outstanding resource and partner, both for the county and the entire region during this pandemic,” stated Timothy O’Hearn, Schuyler County Administrator. “Expanding the hours and providing more tests in our county not only allowed us to meet the requirements by the Governor to reopen and start getting back to work, but will help to ensure that we can continue our phased in approach to restarting our economy.”

Experienced and knowledgeable Schuyler Hospital employees provide the CDC-recommended PRC nasal swab test at car side. The sample process itself takes 10-15 seconds.

Who should get tested?

A list of essential workers is defined and frequently updated by New York State and can be found at (https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026).

If you have questions, contact Schuyler Hospital’s COVID-19 Hotline at (607) 535-8602 or email info@schuylerhospital.org.

Testing for COVID-19 is also available at the Cayuga Health Sampling Center located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., between the hours of 10 am-3 pm Monday through Friday.  Pre-register online at cayugahealth.org/ or through the Call Center, 607-319-5708.  Sampling is to determine if you currently have COVID-19; this is not the antibody test.

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About Schuyler Hospital

Schuyler Hospital, part of Cayuga Health, is a 25-bed critical access hospital, with a 120-bed skilled nursing facility attached. Schuyler Hospital’s main campus – on over-50-acre facilities overlooking breathtaking Seneca Lake – is located in Montour Falls, New York. For 100 years, Schuyler Hospital has been the primary healthcare provider in and around Schuyler County. They have evolved over the years into a network of providers, programs, and services that reaches throughout Schuyler County and into neighboring counties to meet the healthcare needs of a population of over 32,000 residents.

About Cayuga Health

Cayuga Health has two hospitals, Cayuga Medical Center and Schuyler Hospital, as well as a multi-specialty group, Cayuga Medical Associates. Combined employment, including affiliated organizations, is over 2,200 employees. CHS is clinically linked to Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester Regional Health for cardiac services, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for cancer services, and the University of Rochester for neurosciences. It has also teamed up with Family Health Network of Central New York to enhance care in the region. To learn more about the Cayuga Health System, visit cayugahealth.org.

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Cayuga Health To Begin Resumption of Elective Surgeries

Cayuga Medical Center Is Prepared and Ready to Begin Servicing Surgical Patients The Week of May 4th,  Schuyler Hospital May 12th

Cayuga Health announced today that they meet Governor Cuomo’s requirements to begin performing outpatient elective surgeries. Cayuga Medical Center will resume the week of May 4, 2020 and Schuyler Hospital on May 12th. The NYS requirements consist of fewer than 10 new hospitalizations of coronavirus patients in the county over the past 10 days. Patients also must test negative for COVID-19 before undergoing a surgical procedure.

“For the past seven weeks, COVID-19 has impacted our operation throughout Cayuga Health System. Per the Governor’s announcement last week, our team is preparing, and getting ready. Safety is our first priority on meeting the needs of our elective surgery patients,” states Dr. Martin Stallone, President and CEO of Cayuga Health. “We are ready and able to resume elective surgery with an adequate supply of PPE, all infection control measures will be followed, and safety monitoring is already in place to make sure our patients are safe. Our team in surgical services has been working hard over the past several weeks to prepare for the reopening of outpatient elective surgeries and we are ready to resume.”

“We want to thank our providers and employees for their dedication and support during this very challenging period,” adds Stallone. “Throughout this public health emergency, I am very proud of the response, dedication, and flexibility of our entire team. Together, we have been able to meet

the many challenges presented by COVID-19 head on and we will continue to make sure our patients feel safe under our care.”

Testing for COVID-19 is available at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., between the hours of 10 am-3 pm Monday through Friday. A website with on-line registration is available at www.cayugahealth.org for patients to review the screening criteria and pre-register before their arrival, allowing greater efficiencies with patient volume and decreased wait times.

In addition, a call center has been set up for patients who may not have access to Internet, need assistance registering, or have questions. The call center number is 607-319-5708. Individuals are strongly encouraged to pre-register prior to coming to the site.

The Sampling Center is located in portable structures at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot and is staffed by experienced and knowledgeable Cayuga Health employees.

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Cayuga Health Proactively Tests Local Nursing Homes for COVID-19

Mobile Testing Unit Went to Seneca View in Schuyler County Today

 

April 20, 2020 Montour Falls, New York ––  Earlier today Cayuga Health deployed their mobile testing unit to test the residents of Schuyler Hospital’s Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility for COVID-19. Cayuga Health is taking a proactive approach to testing at-risk individuals and those that are most vulnerable to complications from the disease. On Friday, April 17th the Cayuga Health mobile testing team also responded within 45 minutes to a request for COVID-19 testing of residents and staff at Bridges Cornell Heights, an assisted living residence for seniors in Ithaca, NY.

“Seneca View is operated by Cayuga Health and is physically connected to our hospital in Schuyler County,” states Rebecca Gould, President of Schuyler Hospital. “Having this health care connection provides our residents, and the staff of Seneca View, with an extra level of convenient care. The intent of this screening is to ensure that we do not have any residents who may have tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, we do not have any staff or residents who have tested positive.”

Previous guidelines hindered essential caregivers who did not show symptoms from getting tested because they would have to be in mandatory isolation while they waited for test results. The staff of Seneca View will also be tested later this week.

“Our mobile testing approach can get results quickly for individuals that are unable to physically come to our sampling center,” states Dr. Martin Stallone, CEO, Cayuga Health. “New guidelines now allow asymptomatic essential caregivers to return to work while awaiting their results. This allows for the staff and residents at both Seneca View and Bridges Cornell Heights, to get tested without concerns over staffing.”

“Knowledge is power in any crisis, certainly this is true in a pandemic,” states Elizabeth Classen, Founder of Bridges Cornell Heights in a press release issued on Friday afternoon. “ I have to hand it to Dr. Stallone and the Cayuga Medical experts for their responsiveness. Although we have zero residents infected with the virus, the science tells us that any individual can be a silent carrier.”

Cayuga Health also offers a COVID-19 drive through Sampling Center at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, which is open from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday- Friday. Testing is offered with no out of pocket expense to residents and CDC guidelines are followed in regard to patient symptoms and/or exposure. Sampling Center on-line registration is available at www.cayugahealth.org for patients to review the screening criteria and pre-register before their arrival, allowing greater efficiencies with patient volume and decreased wait times.

 

A call center has been set up for patients who may not have access to Internet, need assistance registering, or have questions. The call center number is 607-319-5708. Individuals are strongly encouraged to pre-register prior to coming to the site.

 

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About Cayuga Health

Cayuga Health (CH) has two hospitals, Cayuga Medical Center and Schuyler Hospital, as well as a multi-specialty group, Cayuga Medical Associates. Combined employment, including affiliated organizations, is over 2,200 employees. CHS is clinically linked to Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester Regional Health for cardiac services, Roswell Park for cancer services, and the University of Rochester for neurosciences.   

 

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