It’s completely understandable if you’re apprehensive about going to the hospital as the world is still facing the COVID-19 health crisis. But this also shouldn’t keep you and your loved ones from seeking medical care when it’s highly needed and when faced with medical emergencies.
“As much as people want to avoid exposure and stay at home, the pandemic should not stop you from going to the hospital for other medical conditions and illnesses, particularly ones that need constant or immediate care,” says Saturnino P. Javier, MD, Medical Director of Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed), a top hospital in the Philippines. “Remember that there are non-COVID-19 medical concerns that we must still pay attention to. Patients can rest assured that MakatiMed has taken measures for those who need to go to the hospital to consult with their doctors or undergo other services.”
As part of the hospital’s advocacy for a new and Healthy Normal living during the pandemic, MakatiMed reminds everyone to not postpone regular check-ups and medical care needed to treat existing health conditions. As part of its best practices, MakatiMed has implemented strict Always Safe hospital safety protocols and practices for all patients and their companions and visitors. Here’s what to expect during your next hospital visit.
Screening process. All outpatient centers and doctors’ clinics are open to serve patients. You have to go through a screening process that begins by setting an appointment and answering the patient health screening form online, or through MakatiMed On-Call or the clinic secretary.
Walk-in patients are screened at entrances, but it is best to set an appointment beforehand as clinic hours are limited. Companions are also required to go through the same health screening process. Both visitors and patient companions will be given an ID pass for safety monitoring. The hospital discourages seniors and children visitors as much as possible, unless they are here for their check-up.
Patients with any symptom of possible COVID-19 are advised to seek teleconsultation, and to proceed immediately to the hospital for RT-PCR testing and possible confinement if warranted.
Only one doctor, one patient, one companion and one nurse/secretary are allowed inside the clinic at any time. The clinics have been modified with acrylic barriers and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for mutual protection of the doctor and patient.
All outpatient centers cater to non-COVID-19 patients as long as they have a referral from their doctor. Some centers may require Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test with a negative result within a specific time frame or depending on the procedure or test.
For emergency cases, patients will be screened at the Emergency Department (ED) and the hospital’s diagnostic areas. Any confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patient will be moved to the ED Hot Zone Area and admitted in the hospital’s COVID-19 units.
Rules inside hospital premises. The hospital requires all patients, companions, and visitors to follow the ABCD.
A is for awareness and adherence to B for barrier (wearing of face masks and face shields), C for cleanliness (practice of proper hand hygiene), and D for distance (keeping at least 6 feet distance from other people).
Everyone who goes to MakatiMed must wear a facemask and a face shield. The hospital allows cloth facemasks and surgical masks as long as they do not have a valve. The face shield should also cover the entire face. Temperature scanning is also required at the entrance of the hospital.
MakatiMed encourages guests to constantly practice hand hygiene and observe social distancing while at the hospital, especially in common areas such as the lobbies and waiting rooms. Signages have been placed in various areas to remind everyone to keep their distance. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers and pump style hand sanitizer dispensers are also deployed throughout the hospital for your use.
Frequent disinfection. MakatiMed housekeeping staff go above and beyond in ensuring that the hospital remains clean and safe for all. They are responsible for the pre-cleaning, disinfection, misting, and Ultraviolet C (UVC) light disinfection of all areas round the clock. Exam rooms are also disinfected between each patient use, as each unit has an assigned cleaner.
“It’s more important now to keep ourselves healthy and address health problems before they get any worse. It’s even better to prevent them from happening altogether,” says Dr. Javier. “Despite the current situation, hospitals like MakatiMed, that has put stringent safety measures in place, remain to be the best place for getting proper medical care.”