Sanford Health updates visitor policy

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With restrictions easing in South Dakota, Sanford Health is updating its patient visitor policy.

In early March Sanford Health announced a new visitor policy in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The policy restricted all visitors to immediate family members only and allowed just one visitor per patient.

“We really relied heavily on technology as well to help bridge that gap. When possible, providing that connection through a phone call, FaceTime, in any way we could to facilitate communication with family,” Kris Denevan said.

With restrictions easing across the KELOLAND, the hospital is following suit– allowing one ‘support person’ per patient, per day.

“We intentionally called that person a support person, knowing that, in some ways people looked at a visitor as somebody else,” Denevan said.

Essentially allowing not just family, but friends to now visit patients. And that support person can change each day.

“One of the reasons we were able to allow a visitor or a support person on campus is because of our, the availability that we have of our surgical masks,” Denevan said.

Visitors will be required to wear a mask, which Denevan says will be provided if a visitor is unable to attain one on their own. She says this policy also pertains to clinic visits.

“I think it’s especially important when there’s a time, where we are talking about, maybe a diagnosis that’s an unplanned diagnosis that… it’s good to have somebody there with you for that emotional support,” Denevan said.

It’s only been a little over a week since the new policy went into place, and Denenvan says over 100 support people have been visiting daily.

If you still have questions about whether or not you can visit a patient at Sanford Health, call beforehand.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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