ThedaCare Temporarily Restricting Children to Visit Patients in Seven Hospitals

All Visitors Encouraged to Wear Masks, Wash Hands upon Entry

To help prevent the spread of the influenza virus and to protect the health of patients, families and staff, ThedaCare leadership announces children under the age of 12 will temporarily not be allowed to visit patients in all seven ThedaCare hospitals. This does not apply to outpatient or clinic services. In addition, all hospital visitors will be highly encouraged to wear masks and wash their hands when entering the facilities.

“Patient safety is our primary goal,” said Mark Hallett, MD, Vice President of Patient Safety and High Reliability for ThedaCare. “The flu can cause serious complications and even death, especially in the very young, the elderly and those with existing medical conditions. We know this change may be inconvenient for some visitors and appreciate the community’s support in limiting the spread of the influenza virus and protecting friends and family.”

ThedaCare is implementing the temporary restriction at hospitals in Appleton, Neenah, Shawano, New London, Waupaca, Berlin and Wild Rose. It will be assessed on a regular basis as new information about the influenza season becomes available.

As of Friday, Feb.2, infection rates for the 2017-2018 flu season were still rising, higher than those in any year since 2009, when the swine flu was pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The hospitalization rate is the highest the C.D.C. has ever recorded at this point in the season.

ThedaCare continues to encourage the community to protect hospitalized patients from exposure by not visiting unless necessary. When family and friends visit, they are to wear masks and sanitize their hands before entering the room and when leaving.

Getting vaccinated and washing your hands are easy ways to fight the illness. Other simple tips to staying healthy include getting enough rest, eating right, and covering your cough.

eVisits Offer Option to Patients Not Feeling Well

Patients who are not feeling well but want to be seen by a healthcare provider should do an eVisit. They log on to their MyThedaCare secure web portal and answer several questions specific to their ailment. Within two hours of filling out the online questionnaire, a patient will receive a response from his or her physician, including a plan of care and a prescription, if needed.

eVisits are available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. To use ThedaCare eVisits, a patient must have an established relationship with a ThedaCare provider and a MyThedaCare.org online patient account. The patient portal can be easily established online at MyThedaCare.org. The cost of an eVisit is $35, and insurance is not billed. If your doctor requests to see you in person, the $35 is refunded and normal office visit rates apply.

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a nonprofit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, and stroke, orthopedic and cardiac programs, as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.