COVID-19 Strict Patient Safety Measures

Due to the first confirmed COVID-related death in Maryland in one of our catchment communities, coupled with the quickly escalating cases also related to community spread, the University of Maryland Medical System has reevaluated the measures within the Enhanced Patient Safety Policy and have decided to enact a comprehensive, system-wide Strict Patient Safety Policy beginning at 3 pm on March 20, 2020 and until further notice. This approach is consistent with other health institutions across the country.

Implementation of Strict Patient Safety Measures

  • Applies to all patients within the hospital, regardless of unit or condition, who are seen in UMMS facilities.
  • In inpatient facilities, no visitors will be permitted except under specific circumstances, and by prior approval of the Physician Administrative Officer or designee, including:
    • End-of-life care or end-of-life decision making. For these situations, two visitors will be permitted. For the purposes of this policy, clergy members do not count toward the visitor allotment for end-of-life care.
    • One parent or caregiver of a child in the neonatal intensive care unit.
    • One parent or caregiver of pediatric patients as long as they are not symptomatic.
    • One visitor inclusive of a professional support person or postpartum helper of a patient in the labor & delivery and postpartum units.
    • One visitor for patients in inpatient hospice units.
    • One family member identified for discharge teaching/escort for patients being discharged to home.
    • One visitor for patients undergoing emergency surgery.
    • Visitors who have been asked by the patient’s care team to be a part of scheduled family training for patients with rehabilitation needs.
  • For all outpatient appointments:
    • One visitor will be permitted to accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery.
  • Visitors may be screened for flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or sore throat, depending on the situation.
  • Family, friends and loved ones should use electronic devices and apps to keep in contact with patients whenever possible. (e.g. phones, FaceTime, Skype, etc.)