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OU Medicine Visitation Policy as Response to COVID-19

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, OU Medicine and its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, have updated their visitation policies. As Oklahoma begins its recovery efforts, OU Medicine hospitals have revised their visitation policies, to:

  • TWO ESSENTIAL CAREGIVERS are now allowed for patients at The Children's Hospital, however,ONLY ONE CAREGIVER may visit at a time.
  • ESSENTIAL CAREGIVER EXCEPTIONS are allowed at OU Medical Center and OU Medical Center Edmond
  • NO VISITORS are allowed for patients with COVID-19, unless the patient is a minor.

Policies that will remain in place include:

  • Large groups of people in lobbies, waiting rooms and other public areas of the hospital will not be allowed.
  • The one-caregiver policy will continue for patients who have an appointment at OU Children's Physicians clinics or outpatient appointments for other needs.
  • No visitors will be allowed at Stephenson Cancer Center, OU Physicians clinics in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and OU Health Sciences Center clinical facilities in the College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry, College of Allied Health.
    • High-level critical care, palliative care, hospice and adult patients requiring assistance from a guardian or caregiver will be addressed on a case-by-case basis regarding visitation.

For information on how to stay connected with patients in the hospital, visit our Keeping Connected page.

OU Medical Center & OU Medicine Edmond Visitor Guidelines for Adult Care

At OU Medical Center and OU Medical Center Edmond, essential caregivers or patient representatives will be allowed under extenuating circumstances. Essential caregivers or patient representatives are critical to achieve outcomes for patient care, in these and the following scenarios, one person will be allowed on a case by case review based on healthcare team recommendations and approval of hospital President.

One essential caregiver/patient representative will be allowed if the caregiver/patient representative meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • An essential caregiver/patient representative is defined as someone who is legally authorized to make decisions for a family member, a personal care assistant, an individual with disabilities, or is a disability service provider.
  • The patient’s care team requests the individual take part in essential caregiver training for a patient needing rehabilitation or help with cognitive needs.
  • The patient presents with cognitive impairment, disruptive behavior, behavioral health issues, altered mental status, developmental delays or safety concerns, and the caregiver is key to their care or necessary to provide a patient history.

One essential caregiver/patient representative will be allowed if the caregiver/patient representative meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • An essential caregiver/patient representative is defined as someone who is legally authorized to make decisions for a family member, a personal care assistant, an individual with disabilities, or is a disability service provider.
  • The patient's care team requests the individual take part in essential caregiver training for a patient needing rehabilitation or help with cognitive needs.
  • The patient presents with cognitive impairment, disruptive behavior, behavioral health issues, altered mental status, developmental delays or safety concerns, and the caregiver is key to their care or necessary to provide a patient history.

When exceptions are granted, the essential caregiver must:

  • Stay in the patient’s hospital room for the duration of the visit.
  • Once the caregiver leaves the patient’s room, he or she must immediately leave the hospital.
  • If the essential caregiver wishes to return to the hospital if they have left, the exception process starts over due to the caregiver’s potential for community exposure.
  • For surgeries and procedures, the essential caregiver will be allowed to be in the facility for pre-operative education or to assist the patient in getting to surgery but will be required to stay in the patient’s room or leave the facility during the surgery.

The Children’s Hospital Visitor Guidelines for Pediatric Care:

  • Hospitalized patients at The Children’s Hospital are allowed two designated essential caregivers over age 18 to visit for the duration of their stay. * Please note that due to the recent spike in cases, only one caregiver may visit at a time. This updated policy includes patients who are admitted to the facility, undergoing same-day surgery or procedures; those visiting the Emergency Department; or hospital-based departments such as dialysis, same-day surgery, radiology, etc.

Upon entry into the facility, patients/visitors will be verified to be wearing a mask and asked the patient's destination.

Due to the large number of people arriving at the Atrium of the Children's Hospital, Patient/Visitor screening for COVID-19 will occur at the point-of-service (i.e., clinic, emergency department, radiology, etc.) rather than at the building entrance.

The Children's Hospital previously allowed one caregiver per hospitalized patients as a safety protocol during the recent peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.

  • OU Children’s Physicians clinics will continue limiting the number of individuals who may accompany a patient to an appointment, including to the waiting area, to one visitor per patient.

Other elements of the visitation policy at The Children's Hospital will continue with no changes, including:

  • Entry into The Children's Hospital will be limited to three main entrance points.
  • No one under age 18 may visit The Children's Hospital except under special circumstances.
  • Everyone is required to wear a mask (brought from home or provided by the hospital) at all times.
  • Everyone will answer the screening questions and have their temperature taken. Anyone who screens positive will not be able to visit while having symptoms. Screening questions include whether they have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19 and whether they have experienced COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 14 days.
  • Everyone must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often during their visit.
  • Public lobbies and dining hall seating will remain closed to promote social distancing.

Visitor Information

  • All visitors to any and all OU Medicine entities must be over the age of 18. This includes siblings of patients.
  • For patients who have confirmed COVID-19, no visitors will be allowed in the room unless the patient is a minor.
  • High-level critical care, palliative care, hospice and adult patients requiring assistance from a guardian or caregiver will be addressed on a case-by-case basis regarding visitation.
  • OU Medicine requests that visitors who may be sick or experiencing flu-like symptoms not visit the hospital unless they are seeking medical treatment.
  • Large groups of visitors gathering in waiting rooms, lobbies and other public areas in OU Medicine facilities is discouraged.

Visitor Screening

  • All visitors to OU Medicine Hospitals and OU Children's Physicians must check in upon arrival to the individual facility. Specific entrances will be designated for patients and visitors to enter.
  • Screening policies and procedures will be updated frequently and modified as needed by care setting.
  • OU Medicine hospitals and OU Children’s Physicians are checking in visitors upon arrival to the individual facility. Specific entrances have been designated for patients and visitors to enter.

These screening policies and procedures are subject to change as new information evolves.