The COVID-19 pandemic has led many patients to feel anxiety and fear about coming to a hospital. We want you to know that we understand, and we have taken many steps to ensure your safety in our hospitals and outpatient practices. If you are ill, we want you to come in – to our emergency departments, to our surgical centers, and even to our outpatient areas. Don’t risk your health by delaying necessary medical care. 

As always, your safety is our top priority.

At Lifespan we are meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19 and are ready to welcome you to our hospitals and outpatient centers. Our infectious diseases experts and infection prevention teams have created new protocols to keep you – and our staff – safe.

Whether you are coming in for an elective surgery, to see a specialist, or in an emergency, we are ready for you. 

Throughout our hospitals and outpatient centers, we have prepared by taking many additional measures for your safety:

  • We prescreen all patients for COVID-19 before their arrival.
  • We screen each patient for COVID-19 upon arrival, as well as anyone who accompanies a patient. 
  • We have hand sanitizer readily available for patient use.
  • We clean exam rooms and procedural areas between every patient appointment.
  • We clean and sanitize high-touch and common surfaces at least every four hours.
  • We reconfigured our waiting areas to ensure social distancing.
  • We may ask patients to wait in their cars until their provider can see them.
  • We stagger appointment schedules to reduce the number of patients waiting.
  • We require all patients and staff to wear masks while they’re here. If a patient comes in without a mask, we provide one.
  • We offer telehealth visits wherever appropriate.
  • We perform hand hygiene after handling paperwork, cash, credit cards, licenses and insurance cards.
  • We wipe down the stylus pads and signature pads after each use.

Our operating suites are open and functioning, and surgeries are being scheduled. We’ve added extensive sterilization precautions to our operating room cleaning regimen:

  • COVID-negative patients are treated in the perioperative suite (pre-op, post-op recovery, ORs, and surgical waiting rooms).
  • COVID-positive patients are treated in a separate surgical suite located in a separate area of the hospital.
  • We pause after all aerosol-generating procedures (including the start and end of anesthesia) to purify the air in the OR through special N95-grade filters.
  • We deep clean the OR between each surgical case, using extra attention to prevent exposures.

Our emergency departments have also implemented additional precautionary measures:

Patients with respiratory symptoms or fever are screened in a separate area before entering the emergency department. Those patients who are suspected of being COVID positive are directed to a specific part of the ED.

  • We place patients in specific exam rooms based on whether they are infectious or noninfectious.
  • COVID positive patients are treated in a separate area of the emergency department.
  • We isolate respiratory-compromised patients from other patients.
  • We require all our staff to wear masks while at any location in the emergency department.
  • We screen everyone at each entry point and require everyone to wear a mask. If a patient presents without a mask, we provide one.
  • We clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces frequently.
  • We have marked 6-foot intervals in triage areas so patients who are in line can keep a safe distance from each other.
  • We have increased the spacing between chairs in the waiting area to allow for safe distancing.

Don’t Put Your Health on Hold

We understand that this has been a challenging time for not only our Rhode Island communities but communities all over the world. Although we don’t know when, we know there will be an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want you to be healthy. We urge you to get care for any of your health issues and conditions now.