OU Health Updates Visitation Policy for Hospitals and Clinics

Published: Friday, November 20, 2020

Due to the current spike in COVID cases across Oklahoma and rise in hospitalizations, OU Health is revising its visitation policy.

Effective Friday, November 20, visitors will not be allowed to accompany patients at University of Oklahoma Medical Center or OU Health Edmond Medical Center. This policy includes patients who are undergoing same-day surgery or procedures, and those visiting the Emergency Department and hospital-based clinics and departments such as dialysis and radiology.

Under extenuating circumstances, an essential caregiver may be allowed to accompany a patient. Essential caregivers are those who are critical to achieve outcomes for patient care. In this situation, one person will be allowed on a case-by-case review based on healthcare team recommendations and approval of the hospital President.

When exceptions are granted, the essential caregiver must:

  • Stay in the patient's hospital room and wear a mask 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 after they have left, the exception process starts over due to the caregiver's potential for community exposure to COVID-19.

For surgeries and other 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.

For adult patients on palliative and hospice care, the visitor policy will continue to allow physicians to work with families on a case-by-case basis regarding visitation.

Hospitalized patients at Oklahoma Children's Hospital will continue to be allowed two designated essential caregivers over age 18 to visit for the duration of their stay. Additionally, one visitor is allowed in the Women's and Newborn Labor and Delivery area at Oklahoma Children's Hospital.

In outpatient and clinical services at Oklahoma Children's Hospital, one visitor is allowed with the child. This includes patients who are undergoing same-day surgery or procedures, and those visiting the Emergency Department and hospital-based departments such as dialysis and radiology.

Patient/Visitor screening for COVID-19 at Oklahoma Children's Hospital will occur at the point-of-service (i.e., clinic, Emergency Department, radiology, etc.) rather than at the building entrance.

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

  • Entry into Oklahoma Children's Hospital will be limited to three main entrance points.
  • No one under age 18 may visit Oklahoma Children's Hospital except under special circumstances.
  • Everyone must wear a mask and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often during their visit.

For adult patients of OU Health Physicians clinics in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and in OU Health Dentistry clinics, no visitors are allowed. An exception may be made if an adult escort is necessary due to the patient's medical condition.

One adult visitor is allowed to escort pediatric patients at OU Health Physicians pediatric clinics in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and with a child being seen at an OU Health Dentistry clinic.

Upon entry into all OU Health care facilities, patients/visitors will be verified to be wearing a surgical-style mask and asked the patient's destination.

As has been the policy, large groups of people in lobbies, waiting rooms and other public areas of the hospital will not be allowed.

"Under normal circumstances, OU Health welcomes our patients' visitors 24/7, and we know that in-person visits provide support and reassurance for patients and families alike," said Chuck Spicer, FACHE, President and CEO of OU Medicine, Inc. "However, the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to change our policies to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect our patients, staff and visitors. We will continue to refine the policy for our adult hospitals as the COVID-19 situation changes. We pride ourselves on being a patient- and family-centered organization and will do everything possible for everyone's safety and well-being."