Mercy Fort Smith updates visitor policies
Effective Friday, Sept. 11, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith will begin allowing visitors for hospitalized patients during a limited time each day. In addition, patients at Mercy Clinic locations will be allowed one visitor during their appointments.
Mercy encourages limited visitation to keep unnecessary interaction to a minimum but also recognizes the benefits of visitation for our patients and is now revising visitation policies as well as campus guidelines in certain areas. Mercy will allow one visitor per patient per day during a limited window at Mercy Fort Smith as well as at critical access hospitals in Booneville, Ozark, Paris and Waldron and Mercy Orthopedic Hospital in Fort Smith.
Visitor guidelines are subject to change based upon COVID-19 infections in the community.
Mercy Hospital Fort Smith inpatient visiting hours are 2-6 p.m. daily.
Patients may have only one visitor per day.
Visitation is limited to one hour, except in the intensive care unit (ICU), where visitation is limited to 30 minutes.
Emergency room patients may be accompanied by one patient representative, although the ER waiting room remains closed. Visitors will be asked to wait in their vehicle until the ER patient has been admitted to a room. If an emergency room patient is admitted, family will be asked to leave and follow the hospital visitor guidelines during the patient’s hospital stay.
All inpatient visitors must be 18 years or older. Visitors who are under 18 who arrive with an ER patient may stay with the patient if child care is unavailable.
Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those with pending test results, may not have visitors at this time.
All other restrictions remain in place, including restricting which entrances are open.
Mercy Fort Smith is accessible through the Emergency Department, Medical Building and Labor & Delivery. Visitors for hospitalized patients should use the ER entrance.
Mercy hospitals in Booneville, Paris and Waldron and Mercy Hospital River Valley Orthopedics are accessible through the ER entrance.
Mercy Hospital Ozark is accessible through the ER and outpatient entrances.
Mercy Clinic Fort Smith locations will allow one visitor 18 years or older per clinic patient. Young children also may accompany parents or guardians to Mercy Clinic offices if child care is not available. Pediatric patients may have two designated visitors, parents or guardians as requested or needed.
Hospital and clinic campus guidelines remain in effect and include the following:
All individuals entering the Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Mercy Clinic campuses will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival. Co-workers and visitors are required to wear face masks at all times, including in the patient’s room. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own masks with them in addition to practicing proper hand hygiene.
After being screened at Mercy, visitors will receive a wristband that must be worn throughout the visit. The wristband will indicate the time of the visitor’s arrival.
Visitors are to remain in the patient’s room during the entire visit. Visitors are not allowed in waiting rooms, cafeteria, gift shop or other common areas.
Mercy will be continuing to maintain rigorous cleaning protocols at all locations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an effort to reduce the spread and exposure of COVID-19, Mercy Clinic Fort Smith encourages all patients to consider bringing a visitor or family member only when it is absolutely necessary. All Mercy Clinic Fort Smith locations have the capability to videoconference with a patient’s family member during a clinic visit.
Visitor guidelines can be found here: https://www.mercy.net/newsroom/2020-09-10/mercy-fort-smith-revises-visitor-policies/. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the visitor being asked to leave the campus.
“We appreciate the community’s continued patience and understanding as Mercy Fort Smith works toward protocols that help us maintain a safe environment while allowing visitors to return to Mercy,” said Ryan Gehrig, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith president. “We will continue to monitor our visitor guidelines as necessary as we focus on keeping our facilities safe for both our patients and our co-workers.”