The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought many challenges to the healthcare industry. Locally, one challenge many are encountering is navigating the visitor restrictions that local medical facilities have implemented. Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center has launched an email line for families and friends to send messages and well wishes to loved ones currently staying in the hospital.
“Piedmont Athens Regional understands how difficult it can be for our patients not being able to have visitors at their bedside during this time,” said Ashley Smith, manager of patient experience for Piedmont Athens Regional. “In response to the visitor restrictions that our hospital has in place to protect these patients as well as our staff members, we’ve launched an email platform to connect patients with their families and loved ones.”
Family members and loved ones can now send well wishes to patients they know are currently staying at Piedmont Athens Regional by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The hospital asks that all messages begin with the patient’s name and room number.
According to Smith, the new email will help let Piedmont Athens Regional patients know they’re not alone during their stay and that their family and loved ones are here for them, despite the temporary restriction on visits to the hospital.
In March, Piedmont Athens Regional announced that all visitors are not permitted except essential family members in cases of patients receiving end-of-life care, for labor and delivery support, and for legal guardians accompanying minors who are receiving treatment.
Additionally, visitors must call ahead and receive preapproval. In addition, visitors who receive approval must pass a health screening based the CDC’s updated COVID-19 indicators before entering.
“While we regret the challenges caused by our hospital’s current visitor restrictions, we hope the community takes advantage of this new program we can offer and understands that safety is at the center of our organization and that these restrictions are keeping everyone in our hospital safe,” Smith said. “We very much look forward to bringing these messages of well wishes to our patients’ bedside.”