Iberia Medical Center makes changes to policies as COVID cases rise

Iberia Medical Center.PNG
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 30, 2021

Iberia Medical Center is continuing to refine hospital health and safety policies and reinforce the importance of masking and vaccination as COVID cases increase across the state.

Those changes include a masking policy and refined patient and visitor policy.

Changes entrance policies and visitation for patients, staff, physicians and visitors were made earlier this month.

Main Campus entrances for the public are limited to:

  • Medical Office Building Entrance during regular business hours
  • Main Campus Front Entrance (5:30am – 5:00pm)
  • Main Campus ER Entrance

IMC's inpatient visitation policy has been reinstated to allow one unique, assigned visitor at a time during established visiting hours. Previously, patients were allowed to change visitors per day. IMC's full visitation policy including this change is as follows:

  • Outpatient Testing: Patient Only (Exceptions: patient is a minor or is developmentally challenged)
  • Inpatients at Main and North: One asymptomatic visitor at a time during established visiting hours. Visitor may not stay overnight.
  • Inpatient Rehab: One asymptomatic visitor allowed during established unit visiting hours
  • Inpatient Behavioral Health: One asymptomatic visitor allowed during established unit visiting hours
  • Inpatient Laboring Moms: Spouse/Partner allowed
  • Special needs patient: (i.e. developmentally challenged) Spouse/Partner OR family member
  • Pediatric Patients: Two parents or guardians
  • End-of-Life Patients: Spouse/Partner or Adult Family Member. Adult is defined as 18 or older.
  • Surgery: One adult for surgical patient (pre- and post-surgery) Visitor may not stay overnight.
  • Emergency Department: No visitors unless patient is a minor or is developmentally challenged.
  • Covid-19 positive patients: On a limited basis
  • No visitor under 18 will be allowed to enter either facility.
  • Social distancing guidelines and proper wearing of mask will be required at all times while inside the hospital and medical office building facilities.

Masks are required to enter Main and North campuses, medical office buildings on both campuses as well as the IMC Physician Network practices and will be strictly enforced.

Iberia Medical Center’s administrators and medical staff leadership monitor Covid-19 patient volume daily, they say.

This week, Iberia Medical Center has had a daily Covid-19 inpatient census ranging from the low 20s to the low 30s. The daily average number of Covid-19 inpatients in the ICU and requiring a ventilator is 4-6. Iberia Medical Center currently has no inpatients who were previously fully vaccinated, and since the beginning of July, has had only one patient admitted after full vaccination.

Dr. Moses Kitakule, pulmonologist and IMC Covid-19 Medical Director, reports that the age of Covid-19 inpatients currently at IMC is materially younger, on average, than Covid-19 inpatients in 2020. He reported that he is currently seeing inpatients ages 40-50.

Covid-19 vaccines are offered to employees who are interested in receiving the vaccine. The hospital says that they are hosting employee education and vaccine events.

With many locations throughout our community to obtain vaccinations, Iberia Medical Center is offering support to those locations and redirecting its nursing resources to the administration of monoclonal infusion therapy, the lifesaving therapy that was introduced in November 2020 for patients with mild to moderate symptoms who are at risk for developing severe illness. The goal of the therapy is to lessen the severity of Covid-19 and help reduce hospitalizations.

Iberia Medical Center continues rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices at both campuses and follows the stringent environmental cleaning protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

During the pandemic, Iberia Medical Center has purchased new state-of-the-art ventilators and other respiratory equipment and has a full supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), and has sufficiently expanded the number of negative pressure rooms (also referred to as isolation rooms) to prevent airborne diseases and viruses such as Covid-19 from transmission.

Regarding surgical procedures, IMC says they are continuing to evaluate the situation but as of Thursday, July 29, 2021, inpatient and outpatient surgeries are continuing with strict patient screening protocols in place.

Iberia Medical Center says that they are continuing to perform outpatient Covid-19 lab and radiology testing through the drive-up process at the North Campus.

“During this current Covid-19 surge in Acadiana, we remain committed to caring for our community. We are so thankful to have dedicated and compassionate employees and physicians who are living our mission every day,” states Dionne Viator, Iberia Medical Center CEO.

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