UPDATE — April 29, 2021
New Visitor Policy
As of Monday, May 3, 2021, in accordance with New York State Department of Health’s COVID-related directives, please note:
Upon entry, you:
- Are required to wear a mask
- Will be asked to perform hand hygiene with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Will undergo symptom and temperature checks
- Must present identification (ID) and state your name, address, cell phone number, and name of patient(s) you are visiting
You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure and NOT be able to visit if:
- Your temperature is equal to or greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- You report any significant COVID-19 exposure during the prior 14 days
- You report recent travel from a state that has a significant rate of COVID-19 transmission or if you are currently under a 14-day quarantine
While in the hospital, you must:
- Wear a visitor badge
- Wear and keep your mask on
- Maintain social distancing
- One visitor over the age of 18 is permitted
- Limit your visit to no more than 4 hours each day
- Visit only during 2 pm to 6 pm
On the patient floors, you must:
- Practice hand hygiene and wash or sanitize your hands when entering and exiting a patient’s room
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for isolation rooms, as recommended by the New York State Department of Health and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Maintain a physical distance and refrain from physical contact with the patient
- Remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit except when directed by hospital staff to leave to provide necessary treatment or maintenance
In the Emergency Department
Due to ongoing construction and the restricted space available for treatment in the Emergency Department, TBHC will maintain a “No Visitor” policy inside those treatment areas.
Any visitor who DOES NOT comply by these guidelines, will be asked to leave the hospital.
UPDATE — April 8, 2021
Dear Patients and Guests, we have begun a new socially distant and safe process for entry into the hospital. You may experience a slight delay getting into the facility and we thank you for your patience. However, if you have a disability or are accompanying someone with a disability, please let our Security team know and we will expedite your entrance. Thank you.
UPDATE — March 30, 2021
TBHC is currently offering vaccines to existing patients. We plan to extend vaccines to the community by mid-April 2021. In the meantime, check vaccinefinder.nyc.gov for appointments in NYC.
UPDATE — September 2020
Keeping family and friends healthy is our mission. And we do that by keeping our spaces clean. That is our commitment to you.
UPDATE — June 2020
A Letter from Our President & CEO
Moving Forward: A Hospital Within a Hospital
We hope you and your family are in good health. We have all been through a lot these last few months and are all looking forward to resuming more normal routines. While many things have changed, one thing remains constant: TBHC’s commitment to Keeping Brooklyn Healthy
Our healthcare workers have heroically fought on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle, and we remain here for those who continue to come in with COVID. But we also need to return to providing care for those patients getting a knee replaced, seeking relief for a painful spine debilitation, or considering life-preserving weight-loss surgery. We serve our community’s healthcare needs in a myriad of ways. As COVID-19 remains in the community until a vaccine is created, we know you have a multitude of questions about how TBHC will continue to deliver safe, effective and compassionate care. Let’s tackle those questions here:
What do you mean by a hospital within a hospital?
As soon as it is allowed by the State of New York, TBHC will phase in elective surgeries and procedures. Because TBHC continues to manage COVID-19 patients, the hospital has created a “COVID-safe” environment by organizing the hospital into separate areas with distinct access points, designated waiting areas, staff, nursing units and equipment. We will be effectively treating the needs of both sets of patients in separate and safe models of care.
When is the hospital transitioning to this new model?
TBHC is already performing a number of urgent and emergency surgeries and procedures following best practices around COVID screening and safety protocols. Full capacity for elective surgeries and procedures is anticipated for the near future.
How will the Emergency Room handle COVID safely?
The Emergency Room will safely handle both COVID-19 and non-COVID cases in the following ways:
- Everyone, staff and patients alike, must wear masks. If you do not have one, you will be provided with one.
- When you arrive, you will be screened for possible COVID-19 or other contagious illness.
- If it is determined your condition is not related to a contagious illness:
- You will be directed to our waiting area, which will only allow patients with non-contagious illness. There, you will be asked to observe social distancing according to marks on the floor or staff direction.
- You will be treated in a safe and separate treatment area for all your emergencies not related to a contagious illness. We have and will maintain this safe zone at all times, even during a crisis.
- If it is suspected you have a contagious illness, you will immediately be taken to a safe and separate evaluation-treatment area.
- We also have a safe, separate evaluation and treatment areas for pediatric emergencies with its own separate entrance.
- Further note that all staff will at all times wear masks and gloves and frequently wash their hands. Staff who register you will be behind a plexiglass shield to keep all safe and protected.
- Only one caregiver is allowed with a patient. Caregivers will also be screened. To protect everyone’s safety, visitors will be limited and authorized on a case-by-case basis, depending on the emergency.
Who will be screened and tested for COVID-19?
- As a precaution, all patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at all access points to the hospital and ambulatory sites.
- As of April 24, all admitted patients are tested for COVID-19.
- TBHC has initiated antibody testing for all front-line employees.
- Telemedicine visits are available for patients, as well as COVID-19 screening.
Have you cleaned the hospital well?
Every room and public area in the hospital is cleaned and disinfected daily following a rigorous infection protocol. Patient, procedure and operating rooms are intensively cleaned and disinfected to the highest levels. The walls and floors are disinfected, and everything is stripped from the room. The crew sweeps through on a clockwise rotation to make sure nothing is missed. As a final layer of protection, each room is misted with a deep-cleaning chemical to kill any remaining virus.
When are the TBHC ambulatory sites opening?
- Ambulatory sites are now open with modifications to ensure your safety.
- Appointments are being scheduled to assure that a safe number of patients are allowed in the waiting room at any one time and that social distancing can be maintained at all times by both patients and staff. Masks are required to be worn by all patients and those accompanying patients at the visit. All staff are wearing masks, as well.
- Only one parent or caregiver is allowed with a patient, including one for an elderly or handicapped patient, and one to accompany a pregnant woman during prenatal visits.
- Patient exam rooms will be closely monitored throughout the day and disinfected as needed. The waiting areas and common areas will be cleaned and disinfected periodically during the day and each evening.
What further assurances are there for non-COVID-19 patients who require elective surgeries or procedures at TBHC?
- All staff working in pre-surgical testing and perioperative areas are being screened and tested for COVID antibodies.
- All patients will be provided with an appropriate mask if they do not have one at their appointment.
- There will be separate PACU (recovery) and nursing units for COVID-19 versus non-COVID patients
- TBHC has adequate and separate ICU capacity and staff for both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
- All patients will be tested for COVID-19 48 hours before surgery/procedure.
- If positive and symptomatic, the procedure will be rescheduled.
- If positive and non-symptomatic, TBHC will proceed with the case.
Stay safe and be well,
Gary G. Terrinoni
President and CEO
The Brooklyn Hospital Center