At MultiCare, the safety of our patients and employees is our highest priority. Every day, we routinely care for patients with serious illnesses, including contagious diseases like COVID-19, while protecting the health of our other patients. We continue to care for our patients using the highest safety and quality standards, using recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
While COVID-19 is new to us all, caring for patients safely is not.
"It is our goal every single day to take care in the same way that we would want our family members to be taken care of."
- MultiCare Emergency Department Physician
"If you have symptoms that you don't understand and you're worried about them, see your provider, get a diagnosis, we'll keep you safe. And most importantly, we'll do our best to keep you well."
- Dave Carlson, DO, Chief Physician Officer, MultiCare
Our emergency departments, hospital units and outpatient clinics have plenty of room available to care for everyone for has health care needs. We want you to take care of your health and the health of your loved ones and help you feel confident that you can do so safely. Here are some of the steps MultiCare is taking to further enhance our already high safety and quality standards.
When you call to schedule an appointment, we’ll ask you questions about your health and any symptoms you may be experiencing. We’ll collect additional information over the phone to reduce the amount of paperwork when you come in for your visit. And we’ll remind you to wear a face covering or mask to your appointment.
All patients and visitors are asked to wear a face covering or mask in all MultiCare locations that provide patient care (hospitals, doctors’ offices, labs, pharmacies, and so on). If you don’t have a face covering, we will supply one before you enter the building, but you are strongly encouraged to bring your own to help us conserve our supply.
When you arrive at a MultiCare location, you’ll be greeted by a staff member who will take your temperature, screen you for COVID-19 symptoms, provide sanitizer for hand hygiene and, if you don’t already have a face covering, provide you a mask. All patients and visitors are asked to wear a mask at all times in all our buildings that provide patient care, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
We screen all patients and visitors at our hospitals and clinics for fever or other symptoms to prevent visitors who are ill from entering our facilities and ensure we direct patients who have symptoms to the right areas for care. After screening, patients and visitors will receive a wrist band stating the day of the week they visited, so we know everyone in our facilities has been screened on the day they are there.
We also require our employees to attest that they don’t have a fever or symptoms of any respiratory illness before starting every shift. Employees with symptoms of a respiratory illness are required to stay home until they have completely recovered. Employees working in buildings where patient care is provided are required to wear a mask.
We are restricting the number of individuals who can enter many of our common areas to ensure 6-foot distancing. Our visitor restrictions remain in effect and — although understandably impactful to our patients — allows us to reduce the number of individuals in our buildings to those who have an essential need to be there. We’ve reconfigured many of our waiting areas and other common spaces as needed to enforce 6-foot social distancing between patients. We maintain a 6-foot distance between patients and staff whenever possible.
We’ve increased cleaning in all our facilities with disinfectant that’s highly effective at killing coronavirus. We clean high-touch areas including chairs in waiting rooms, elevator buttons, door handles and countertops. We thoroughly clean our bathrooms including sinks, countertops, toilets multiple times a day.
Lobbies: Our lobbies and common areas, including high-touch items such as door handles, elevator buttons, tables and chairs, are cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day for your safety. Reading material and brochures have been removed from our lobbies.
Exam Rooms: Our clinical teams have extensive experience treating contagious illness and taking the appropriate steps to ensure exam and treatment rooms are cleaned and sanitized correctly. We have further enhanced those steps for our patients’ safety and peace of mind. Our exam rooms and procedure areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each patient visit. MultiCare locations have always followed stringent cleaning protocols. Your exam or procedure room will be thoroughly cleaned before you enter.
Cafeterias: Our cafeterias are cleaned multiple times a day. All surfaces are sanitized after breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have removed self-serve options, salt and pepper shakers and condiment dispensers.
Drinking Fountains: All drinking fountains at our facilities have been turned off.
Hand hygiene has always been an essential infection prevention tool and is necessary for all employees, providers, patients and visitors. Our caregivers will wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after they care for you. Hand sanitizer is available at all entrances and throughout all our hospitals and clinics. We encourage our patients and visitors to use it.
Patients who have symptoms of, or who have been diagnosed with, contagious illnesses such as COVID-19 are isolated and cared for in appropriate spaces by trained staff using the most appropriate, evidenced-based safety policies. These spaces are separated from other patient care areas.