Effective Friday, March 27, OakBend Medical Center will no longer allow visitors to enter any of our facilities until further notice. We understand that family and friends play a vital role in the healing process of our valuable patients and we will continue to provide our patients the utmost quality of care they deserve from our outstanding staff. We encourage virtual visits with your personal devices with loved ones during this time.
Below are the listed exclusions to the new visitor policy:
• All patients, visitors and staff will be screened. Our facility has designated specific staff that will be the first line of treatment for patients with potential or confirmed COVID-19. Those staff members will be using personal protection equipment (PPE).
• Visitation hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visitors will be allowed through the front door and ER at Jackson Street on weekdays. Enter through the ER on weekends.
• Our Wharton and Williams Way Hospital Campuses will only accept visitors through the ER entrance.
• No visitors allowed for imaging and lab services.
• Upon entry, everyone will be screened with a temperature check and questionnaire. If cleared, the entrant will be issued a wristband.
• Patients of Dr. Popatia are allowed one visitor (18 to 65 years of age).
• Minors are allowed one guardian to accompany them for testing or treatment.
• Any suspected COVID-19 patient or any patient on isolation cannot have visitors.
OakBend is now offering drive-through COVID-19 testing. However, certain parameters must be met:
• Patients must complete a telehealth visit by calling 281-238-7870 where a doctor will examine patients for symptoms of COVID-19 and certain risk factors such as: patients over the age of 65 or have an underlying health condition, patient is a health care provider and may have been exposed to coronavirus, or patients are showing active COVID-19 symptoms.
• If deemed necessary, testing will be scheduled during the telehealth visit.
• Testing will take place at 4911 Sandhill Drive, Sugar Land, Texas 77479 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.
• The test costs $100 for people without insurance. People with insurance will have to pay a $40 deductible and the remainder of the fee will be paid through their insurance.
• Test results take 24-48 hours and patients will be contacted directly with results.
• After carefully reviewing the data surrounding COVID-19, along with guidance from the U.S. Surgeon General and a statewide executive order from Governor Greg Abbott to cancel all elective surgeries, OakBend Medical Center has decided to postpone all elective-non-urgent surgeries and procedures system wide. Elective-non urgent cases are defined as cases where there is no anticipated short-term or long-term negative impact because of delaying a procedure or surgery. This does not include urgent elective cases or procedures.
• Increased our Command Center meetings with our executive team to twice per day in order to collaborate and communicate any new updates and changes that are occurring daily.
• Working to establish the location of a COVID-19 specific unit for any positive patients we may encounter while in our facility. This will be located at our Jackson St Campus.
• Our staff is on a daily calls with the Department of State Health Services to get updates; we have developed an emergency plan that includes monitoring the CDC website for current information, sending daily reports to our staff about the current conditions and making sure our patients, visitors and staff are educated on signs and symptoms and ways to protect themselves from Coronavirus.
• OakBend is using a screening tool to identify suspect Coronavirus patients. This is being used in all areas of our acute care hospitals. Infection Control is immediately notified if a patient meets criteria. Care for the suspect patient is coordinated with multiple departments at the hospital. Fort Bend County Health & Human Services is notified and consulted throughout the patient’s stay. Our Wharton Hospital Campus notifies the City of Wharton Office of Emergency Management as well as the Wharton County Office of Emergency Management.
• OakBend is conducting multiple drills in departments involved in handling any suspect Coronavirus patient (ERs, Patient Access). We are continuously monitoring updates from the CDC and revising our protocols as necessary. Infection Control also attends multiple conference calls every week to stay up to date with the latest developments in the area, region and state. Dr. Sarfraz Aly, our Infection Control Specialist and Dr. Ed Uthman, our pathologist are directly involved in updating protocols.
• OakBend has a separate unit designated for presumptive positive or positive patients that is isolated from all other patients and visitors.
March 28, 2020: OakBend Medical Center CEO Joe Freudenberge rgives another update about our response and operations to COVID-19.
March 27, 2020: OakBend Medical Center CEO Joe Freudenberger speaks from his home as he gives us an update on our new visitor policy, the first drive-through COVID testing site in the county, an expansion of our telemedicine program and many heartfelt thanks for the support of our community.
March 24, 2020:
To the OakBend Family:
Our physicians and staff are awe-inspiring. We see how hard you are working to keep our patients safe. As we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, I would like to take this time to thank everyone in the organization for providing exceptional, compassionate care to our community.
There are a lot of moving pieces to the COVID 19 puzzle, at OakBend, locally and nationally.
At OakBend, we called a Code Grey to ensure we had adequate staffing and we set up a COVID-19 Task Force. We are setting up our Jackson Street campus with a COVID-19 unit, having daily Incident Command Center meetings of our executive team to collaborate and rapidly communicate updates, standing up telemedicine capabilities and having daily coordinating discussions with our medical staff. We are on numerous daily conference calls with Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, the State and the CDC to stay abreast of the changes.
The temporary screeners we have testing everyone entering the hospital are bringing good results. We are limiting visitors and children for the safety of our patients and community.
The Medical Group is working on drive thru COVID 19 testing for patients who meet the criteria to be tested.
As your CEO, I am committed to this community, the staff and physicians and to being by your side during this trying time. I know that we will get through this as long as we work together. Stay strong, safe and determined.