UI Health Care expands safety measures to include COVID-19 testing for all inpatients, regardless of symptoms

Beginning June 11, UI Health Care will begin testing all inpatients for COVID-19 upon admission to its facilities

Safety continues to be University of Iowa Health Care’s number one priority, which is why it is expanding COVID-19 testing to include all inpatients upon admission beginning Thursday, June 11.

Previously, all inpatients were screened upon admittance and those with symptoms were tested for COVID-19. UI Health Care’s newly expanded testing capabilities will now require testing for patients who are not currently displaying symptoms.

“We are implementing testing for all inpatients to protect the health and safety of every patient and staff member,” says Dr. Theresa Brennan, Chief Medical Officer of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. “We know that some patients with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. Testing everyone who is admitted to our facilities will identify patients who have the diagnosis and don’t know it, so that we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is the right thing to do for our patients and staff.”

Tests are processed on site at UI Health Care’s laboratory, which has the ability to process over 700 COVID-19 tests per day. On-site testing enables patients to receive quicker results. Patients who test positive will be moved to an isolated COVID unit with additional safety measures in place to prevent the spread of disease.

“Our goal is to become one of the safest places in the state of Iowa,” says Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, chief executive officer of UI Hospitals & Clinics and associate vice president for UI Health Care. “We have led the way at putting safety measures in place at scale—face masks for all who enter our facilities, screenings at all entrances, and much more—but we don’t want to stop there. Testing of all inpatients, regardless of symptoms, will allow us to continue safely caring for all patients’ health care needs.”

In addition to testing all inpatients, UI Health Care has implemented the following safety measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19:

  • Face masks for all who enter UI Health Care facilities
  • Infrared temperature screening of all who enter UI Health Care facilities
  • Limited entrances with health screening
  • Face shields and face masks for all UI Health Care employees on campus
  • Enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces
  • Reduced seating in public spaces, cafeterias, and waiting rooms
  • Social distancing floor markings and signage
  • Hand hygiene signage, stations, reminders
  • Plexiglass installation
  • Redesigned workstations
  • Modified food and nutrition services (eliminated buffet, pre-packaged silverware, additional self-pay options)

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