In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the rising number of cases in California, Keck Medicine of USC has announced the following precautions to protect staff and patients and reduce the spread of the disease.
The following measures were announced March 18:
- Many elective inpatient and outpatient surgeries will be rescheduled on a case-by-case basis.
- Keck Medicine has established an isolated screening facility for health care workers and patients exhibiting viral symptoms at its Keck Hospital of USC location.
- An increased number of patients are using telemedicine for appointments.
- Keck Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital have initiated a no-visitor policy for admitted patients, with exceptions for patients who are at end of life or other critical situations.
- Keck Medical Center of USC buildings have limited entry points, and fever screenings are taking place at all clinical entry points. Visitors to outpatient locations will be screened for fever upon check-in.
- Anyone with respiratory symptoms or fever will be given a mask and redirected based on assessment of their clinical condition.
- Medical students at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have been pulled from clinical rounds and from working directly with patients at Keck Medicine clinical locations.
The following measures have been in place since Monday, March 16 and are still in effect:
Visitors & Patients
- All patients are being screened for COVID-19 and triaged for appropriate treatment, including remote treatment at home by a recently activated clinical team.
- All health care providers with Keck Medicine have been credentialed to practice telemedicine in order to expand capacity, enabling virtual visits with patients instead of in-person.
- Domestic and international travel has been restricted for staff. Those who have returned from international travel are being screened for COVID-19 and managed accordingly.
- An automated re-order system for supplies has been in effect to ensure facilities remained stocked. The health system is confident in its ability to provide sufficient supplies for our staff and patients and will continuously monitor the situation.
“All of our procedures are developed for the maximum safety and care of our patients,” said Stephanie Hall, MD, chief medical officer of Keck Medicine. “The ability of our providers to provide virtual visits is an especially important development as we fight this outbreak, and just one of many ways we are protecting both our staff and patients.”
“As COVID-19 spreads, we will continue to take all necessary precautions to protect our patients, staff and community and to effectively manage this virus,” said Rodney Hanners, COO of Keck Medicine and CEO of Keck Medical Center. “All of our efforts right now are directed at developing procedures and protocols to provide our patients and community with compassionate care while ensuring their safety.”
The World Health Organization has labeled COVID-19 a pandemic. In an ongoing effort to keep the public informed about the disease, Keck Medicine has created a COVID-19 website that will be updated regularly. For additional information regarding USC’s response to the outbreak, visit usc.edu/coronavirus.