What to Expect During Your Hospital Procedure
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.
You are going to be asked screening questions multiple times by multiple people, up until you are admitted for your procedure. The questions are part of our standard COVID-19 screening process and include asking if you have…
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Whenever you are asked, please answer these screening questions honestly. If your procedure must 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.
If you are having a surgical procedure, you may be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 prior to your procedure. Your provider will place the order for the test and provide instruction for where to go to receive your test. If your test happens to be positive, your procedure will be postponed, and you will be given instructions related to your care.
Face Coverings Are Required
- At National Park Medical Center, protecting the health and safety of our team members and the patients we serve is our number one priority. We are encouraged by the progress we are making across the country and here in our state toward reducing the prevalence of COVID-19. However, we are not out of the woods yet. Now is simply not the time to let our guard down.
- Even though Arkansas lifted the mask mandate as of April 1, National Park Medical Center is still requiring masks to be worn inside our facility by patients, providers, employees and visitors for the foreseeable future. We believe this is in the best interests of our team and the valued patients we serve. We will continue to evaluate our policies moving forward based on the evolving situation in our community and will communicate any updates as we have them.
Though not a requirement, you also will be strongly encouraged 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, or for work, it is strongly recommended that you wear a mask in public settings, and where practicing social/physical distancing is difficult to achieve, you should be even more diligent about proper hand hygiene.
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and
- Check your temperature and record it twice a day during this seven-day period. You should report any temperature above 100°F to your provider.
TEMPORARY VISITATION GUIDELINES:
At National Park Medical Center, our top priority is safeguarding the health and well-being of our patients, providers, employees and community. We continue to closely monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and follow state and federal guidance as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients.
EFFECTIVE MARCH 9, 2021
- With the exception of patients with COVID-19 symptoms, all patients including Emergency Department and Outpatient Areas are allowed one well visitor over the age of 16 at a time.
- Visitors are NOT allowed for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised or respiratory patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19.
- Inpatient visitors may “switch out”, but there should be only one visitor per patient at a time.
- Exceptions to the policy will include Labor & Delivery, pediatric and end-of-life patients.
- All visitors must be 16 years of age or older and are asked to bring their own mask.
- The main entrance is open Monday through Friday from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- The Emergency Department entrance is open 24/7 for patients, visitors and staff.
- The Heart Center entrance is open exclusively for heart center patients and their support persons.
- Please utilize alternative methods of communication, including technology, with patients as much as possible.
COVID-19 Delta Variant: Frequently Asked Questions
What is National Park Medical Center doing to prepare for the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant?
Our team is highly skilled at managing and treating infectious diseases of all types, including COVID-19. We are continuing to closely follow guidance from the CDC and our local/state health departments and are adhering to the rigorous health and safety protocols that have always been in place at our facility. These operating protocols were further enhanced when the pandemic began and include:
- Requiring masking for everyone inside our facilities
- Screening for COVID-19 symptoms
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols
- Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment
- Isolating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
Is the Delta variant more contagious than the other strains?
Yes. Studies have shown that the Delta variant has a much higher rate of transmissibility (40-60% greater) than any other identified strain, which means it is more contagious. It is estimated that the Delta variant is responsible for more than 50% of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. at this point.
Is the Delta variant more deadly?
We are still learning about the characteristics of the Delta variant as the research continues to evolve. For now, we know that the best thing you can do is get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself. Vaccinated individuals are significantly less likely to spread the virus, become severely ill if they do contract COVID-19 or require hospitalization. Notably, over 99% of all deaths due to COVID-19 in June 2021 across the U.S. were in the unvaccinated population.
Is National Park Medical Center testing COVID-19-positive patients for the Delta variant?
We are not testing patients with COVID-19 to determine which strain they may have. The specific type of variant doesn’t impact how we care for COVID-19 patients, nor does it impact the health and safety protocols already in place to protect our team and all those who enter our facilities. We are working with the Arkansas Department of Health for variant strain testing as needed.
Will there be other strains of SARS-CoV-2?
It is normal for viruses to mutate and develop new strains – this happens with the influenza virus every year, for example. Because of this, there are several different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 currently circulating, including the delta variant, and it is likely that other strains may develop over time. It is very important to get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself and others from any strain of the virus.
What should our community do to slow the spread of the Delta variant?
The best defense is to get a COVID-19 vaccine and encourage everyone you know to get vaccinated. At this point, most of the patients we are seeing who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It is also wise to wear a mask, socially distance from others and practice proper hand hygiene to help slow the spread of illness.
If I have already been vaccinated, should I get a booster shot to help further protect myself against the Delta variant?
Studies are still ongoing to determine how long immunity lasts for a vaccinated individual and if COVID-19 booster shots are necessary. At this time, the best thing to do is make sure you are fully vaccinated for maximum protection – either by receiving both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna two-dose vaccine regimen or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
Are breakthrough infections more likely with the Delta variant if I’m already vaccinated?
Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are possible regardless of the specific variant, as no vaccine is 100% effective. The good news is that even if you contract COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, you are significantly less likely to become severely ill or require hospitalization.
Has the Delta variant been identified in our community?
The best source of information regarding the presence and impact of the Delta variant in our community is the Garland County Health Unit at 1425 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs, AR 71901. They may be reached Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm at (501) 624-3394.