Ask a Pediatrician: How Do You Make Sure Your Patients Feel Safe and Comfortable During COVID-19?

You ask, we answer. In each edition of “Ask a Pediatrician,” Connecticut Children’s pediatric experts respond to a question from our social media community. To submit your own question for consideration, email socialmedia@connecticutchildrens.org.

To kick off the series, critical care pediatrician Robert Parker, DO, answers a question we’ve been hearing a lot these days – and one that’s at the heart of our promise to keep kids safe and sound.

How do you make sure your patients feel safe and comfortable during COVID-19?

Headshot of Robert Parker, DODr. Parker: COVID-19 is scary for children and families alike. Fortunately, the numbers here in Connecticut are decreasing and the positive rates are now less than 1%, with infections in children significantly less than that. And at Connecticut Children’s, our Safe and Sound program is dedicated to keeping everyone – children, families and employees – safe from COVID-19.

Connecticut Children’s has been focused on providing the highest quality care in the safest way possible since the earliest days of the pandemic. Our safety experts have met frequently across all locations, departments and teams to ensure that every child receives the care their families have come to expect from Connecticut Children’s – while keeping everyone safe from COVID-19.

At all of our locations throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, we do temperature and high-risk screenings for all employees and visitors. We all wear masks, and have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for our team members, patients and families. Our environmental services team has gone beyond expectations to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness. In the hospital, we have designated areas in the Emergency Department, inpatient and intensive care areas to separate any patients with confirmed or potential COVID-19 exposure from medically fragile children, and we have carefully planned and rehearsed how to transport and care for these patients to minimize any COVID-19 exposure. We’ve essentially set up two separate emergency departments – one for patients who have COVID-19 symptoms or known exposure, and one for those who don’t. We use rapid screening and triaging to get children and caregivers quickly into their own room, avoiding the waiting room. We cannot eliminate risk entirely, but we are as close as anyone can get.

Patient and father wear masks in a hospital room

These systems allow us to deliver great care to every child while protecting everyone against the spread of COVID-19. Throughout all of this, we remain focused on each patient’s emotional and psychosocial needs, and on providing the same excellent care we have always given.

> Learn more ways Connecticut Children’s is keeping kids safe from COVID-19

Although COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with the world, here at Connecticut Children’s, we have done all we can to ensure the safety and comfort of your most valuable family members at their most vulnerable time. We will continue to strive for this. We promise that.

Have a question for our pediatricians? Let us know at socialmedia@connecticutchildrens.org.

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