Letter to Our Patients
To Our Northwestern Medicine Patients
May 2, 2020
I hope this letter finds you well in this unprecedented time. While the headlines are understandably dominated by COVID-19, we know many of you have other medical needs that must be addressed in the midst of the pandemic.
Our physicians are prioritizing their availability to perform surgeries, visits and procedures following the Governor’s May 1 guidance so that individuals who need more advanced treatments can receive them in a timely manner. For those who have had a procedure or surgery postponed, your physician or a member of their team will be in contact with you directly to discuss your treatment plan.
I understand the fear and uncertainty you may be feeling about coming into a hospital right now. To help set your mind at ease, I want to share the extensive measures we’ve taken for everyone’s safety.
- Visitation. Unfortunately, we must continue to restrict visitors in all inpatient and outpatient facilities except in very specific cases, such as birthing partners and support for compassionate care. We will continue to evaluate this policy while keeping your safety in mind, and will post updates on nm.org. These tips will help you prepare for your visit.
- Screening. Everyone entering our buildings will be screened for fever and asked whether they have experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Those exhibiting symptoms will be triaged for care or asked to return home.
- Comprehensive cleaning. Our Environmental Services teams continue to perform rigorous cleaning of our facilities and have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in high-touch areas. Hand sanitizer dispensers remain available throughout our facilities.
- Universal masking. Everyone is required to wear a mask while in our hospitals or ambulatory facilities. Masks are available for those entering our facilities.
- Physical distancing. For everyone’s safety, a distance of at least six feet must be maintained unless you are receiving direct patient care. We have modified seating arrangements in waiting rooms, food courts and other common areas to reinforce this practice. We will also limit elevator occupancy and apologize in advance that it may take you a little longer to get to your destination. Please plan your time accordingly.
As we navigate the gradual and measured openings of our hospitals and ambulatory facilities in the weeks ahead, please know the entire Northwestern Medicine team of physicians, nurses and staff is focused on ensuring you feel safe and supported during this unprecedented time. We will have ample staff available to help you navigate the process of returning to our facilities for treatment. You can also find the latest information on COVID-19 and our response at nm.org/covid-19 or call our Northwestern Medicine COVID-19 hotline at 312.47.COVID (312.472.6843).
Thank you for your continued support of Northwestern Medicine and the privilege to provide your health care.
Dean M. Harrison
President and Chief Executive Officer
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare