Visiting Hours - South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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Visiting Hours

Visiting Hours and Policies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Antonio and Kerrville VA Announces Additional Safeguards to Protect Veterans, Visitors and Employees
No Visitor Policy at San Antonio VA Campus
San Antonio, Texas (March 16, 2020) - The South Texas Veterans Health Care System is taking extra precautions aimed at limiting exposure risk to Veterans, volunteers, employees, and visitors.
Veterans who are concerned they may have symptoms of COVID-19, flu, or cold should call 877-537-7348 before coming to the VA. Clinical staff are available to provide 24/7 virtual care and support, including nurse advice and triage. This service is available at no cost to Veterans enrolled for VA health care.
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System includes the Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio; the Kerrville VA Medical Center and the following outpatient and contract clinics:
• Frank M. Tejeda Outpatient Clinic
• North Central Federal Clinic
• Balcones Heights Outpatient Clinic
• Shavano Park Outpatient Clinic
• South Bexar Outpatient Clinic
• Victoria Outpatient Clinic
• Data Point Outpatient Clinic
• Northeast 410
• Northwest 410
• Pecan Valley
• New Braunfels
• Southwest Military
• Seguin
• Beeville

To minimize risk for employees and Veterans, everyone who enters the South Texas Veterans Health Care System campuses will be pre-screened. This may lengthen entry times, so patients are advised to allow for that when arriving for their appointments.

The screening consists of three questions:

1. Do you have a fever or worsening cough or shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms?
2. Have you or a close contact traveled to an area with widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?
3. Have you been in close contact with someone, including health care workers, confirmed to have COVID-19?

Visitor policies are as follows:
• A temporary “no visitor” policy has been adopted at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio.

• Access to the Kerrville and San Antonio Community Living Centers (VA nursing homes), Spinal Cord Injury Unit, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Domiciliary, Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program and visitation to the inpatient units is no longer permitted.  These units are being strictly monitored to protect patients deemed more vulnerable and at higher risk. This means no outside visitors will be permitted to see residents in these units and inpatient areas.  The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases, when Veterans are in their last stages of life on hospice units. Learn more about VA’s announcement here. 

• For outpatient clinic appointments in the San Antonio and Kerrville area, we strongly encourage Veterans to limit family members to one while accompanying them to their appointment or immediate caregivers only and no children under 18 years of age.  

Lastly, South Texas Veterans Health Care System will post cancelled special events and/or activities on the following sites :  www.southtexas.va.govwww.facebook.com/SanAntonioVAMCwww.twitter.com/SanAntonioVAMC . 
South Texas is temporarily ceasing all participation in public outreach events until April 30, 2020. 
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System understands these actions may be inconvenient to some; however, these measures will help protect those who trust VA for their care and the employees who provide that care.
More information for Veterans is here: https://www.va.gov/coronavirus

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 website.

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STVHCS is committed to Patient-Centered care incorporating a health care environment that is welcoming not only to Veterans, but also their family and friends. Patient visitation is an important component of the care of hospitalized patients and reflects the needs of those it serves. STVHCS supports visiting hours that promote healing for Veterans and families, while also promoting a therapeutic environment.
 
In the Mental Health Units, visiting hours are 5 - 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 1 - 8:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Friends may visit in designated areas. Exceptions are made by the patient’s provider and noted in the patient’s medical record.

In the Intensive Care Units (ICU) and the medical-surgical units, visiting hours allow a family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of the day.

The patient’s provider can limit or extend the visitation practice. Any limits or extensions to visitation will be noted in the patient’s medical record.
 
Every employee shares the responsibility of informing patients and visitors regarding the visitation policy. The patient’s provider can limit or extend the visitation practice as in the best interest of the patient and other patients.
 
Friends and family may visit in the patient’s room except on psychiatry units where they visit in the dayroom or other designated areas..
 
Minors, those under 18 years of age, may visit if the patient’s nurse determines that the visit is in the best interest of the patient and the minor has no evidence of communicable disease. A responsible adult must accompany the minor at all times. A responsible adult is defined as a parent or person over the age of 18 who is caring for the safety of the minor. The patient’s provider may make exceptions based upon age, the patient’s best interest, impact upon other patients, and the safety of the minor.
 
Visitors are requested to enter and exit the hospitals through the main entrances.

Note: the hospital allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient‘s choice, unless the individual’s presence infringes on others’ rights, safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient’s surrogate decision maker or legally authorized representative.
 
 

VA General Visitation Policy

The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. "Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, martial, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on other's rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.