Current Visitor Restrictions at Mercy Fort Smith

August 6, 2021

Scope: Mercy Hospital Fort Smith Summary or Purpose: To provide an organized and flexible system for visitation on the Mercy Hospital Fort Smith campus. To ensure a peaceful and quiet environment for the care and healing of the patients. Policy: To allow visitors of the patients’ choice and those visitors will not be restricted on the basis of any discriminatory factor. Procedure: Mercy Hospital Fort Smith visiting hours vary based on current CDC and Mercy Ministry guidelines.  

Effective Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.

Hospital Visitation Guidelines

* Visitation is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All inpatient visitors will enter through the Mercy Fort Smith Main Hospital entrance. Inpatient visitation is limited to one (1) visitor per day, one at a time, throughout the visitation period. Visitors may leave and return during the visitation hours but must keep their wristband on. 

*Mercy Fort Smith, Mercy Booneville, Mercy Paris, Mercy Ozark, Mercy Waldron, Mercy Orthopedic Hospital and Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Fort Smith will hold visiting hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Visitation is limited to one (1) per day, with the following exceptions:

    * Patients with disabilities may have one of three designated support persons present at all times.

    * Patients under the age of 18 have the right to have a parent or legal guardian or caretaker at all times.

    * Emergency room patients may be accompanied by one (1) visitor. Visitors will be asked to wait in their vehicle until the ER patient has been admitted to a room; the ER waiting room remains closed to visitors.

        * If an ER patient is admitted to the hospital, the visitor will be asked to follow the hospital visitor guidelines during patient hospital stay.

        * Young children may also accompany parents/guardians to the ER if childcare is not available.

* All inpatient visitors must be ages 18 and up.

* Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those with pending test results, may not have visitors at this time.   

* Clergy members will be allowed to visit their patients on a weekly basis during regular visitation hours. Clergy members can call Pastoral Services at 479-314-6084 and will be issued a badge to be used during their visitation time.

 

Labor and Delivery

* Labor and Delivery allows one visitor for duration of stay. During delivery, patients may have one support person plus one additional person (such as a doula). The additional person may not be switched out and must leave following delivery.

* Postpartum visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Each visitor is allowed two visitors daily (only one visitor at a time). Once the patient has delivered and transitioned to postpartum, the significant other (banded person) and the additional support person will transition over with patient. The support person will be able to stay until visiting hours are over (8 p.m. daily). The banded person is allowed to remain overnight with the patient and baby.  

* If a C-section is scheduled, the significant other can call to update the two visitors, who can visit once recovery of patient (usually two hours post C-section) is complete. Visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

* If the patient is in labor and proceeds to an unplanned C-section, the additional support person will be taken to a postpartum room to await arrival of the patient following the C-section and may remain with the patient (if condition warrants) until visiting hours end (8 p.m. daily). 

* If delivery via C-section occurs after visiting hours, the additional support person will be allowed to stay through the recovery period and then will be asked to leave. The additional support person will be allowed to return the following day during visiting hours as one of the patient’s two visitors for the day.    

* If the patient is a afternoon induction, the additional support person will be asked to arrive in the morning around 6 or 7 a.m. to allow the patient to rest through the night. 

 

Hospital Campus Guidelines 

*All visitors will enter through the Mercy Fort Smith Main Hospital entrance.

*All individuals entering the Mercy Fort Smith hospital and clinic campuses will be screened for symptoms upon arrival, including asking if the visitor has a temperature. Visitors will not have their temperature taken. Individuals who fail the screening will not be allowed to enter. 

*Co-workers and visitors are required to wear face covering, including in the patient room. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own covering with them, in addition to practicing proper hand hygiene.

*After being screened, 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 asked to remain in the patient room during the entire visit.  Waiting rooms will remain closed, except for the ICU waiting room, which will practiced social distancing.

*The cafeteria will be open to visitors from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends.

*The gift shop will be open to visitors from from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

*Mercy will be continuing to maintain rigorous cleaning protocols at all locations.

*Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the visitor being asked to leave campus.

 

Clinic Visitation Guidelines

* Mercy Clinic Fort Smith locations will allow one visitor per clinic patient. Young children may also accompany parents/guardians to Mercy clinics if childcare is not available.

* Pediatric patients under the age of 18 may have two designated visitors/parents/guardians as requested/needed.

* All individuals entering Mercy Clinic Fort Smith locations will be screened for symptoms upon arrival, including asking if the visitor has a temperature. Visitors may or may not have their temperature taken, depending on clinic location. Patients who fail the screening may have their visit changed to a video visit. Visitors who fail the screening may not be allowed to enter.

* Co-workers and visitors are required to wear face masks at all times, including in the exam room. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own masks with them, in addition to practicing proper hand hygiene.

* Social distancing will be practiced and maintained, especially in our waiting rooms. If safe, social distancing cannot be maintained, patients’ visitors will be asked to wait in their vehicle. 

* In an effort to reduce the spread and exposure of COVID-19, Mercy Clinic Fort Smith encourages all patients to only consider bringing a visitor or family member when it is absolutely necessary. All Mercy Clinic Fort Smith locations have the capability to video conference with a patient’s family member during their visit to the clinic.     

*Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the visitor being asked to leave campus.