Hospital takes precautions to protect health of patients
Hoboken University Medical Center will tighten its policies on patient visitation beginning Monday as a result of increased flu activity in New Jersey and around the nation.
Following recommendations by the New Jersey Hospital Association, Hoboken UMC will be restricting youngsters ages 18 and under to visiting patients. This age group is most susceptible to H1N1, the flu also referred to as swine flu.
Medical experts say people with H1N1 and other flu can be contagious up to 24 hours before symptoms of the illness appear.
“This is a necessary step we’re taking to protect the health of our patients,” explained Ellen Refowitz, VP Patient Services, CNO, noting that other hospitals in New Jersey are establishing similar restrictions. “We realize this may present a hardship to some families, but the well-being of our patients is our first priority.”
The medical center will make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, especially for family members of patients who have a life-threatening illness.
Children under 18 will be permitted in Hoboken UMC’s outpatient areas, but adults may not leave children unattended in the medical center’s lobbies or waiting areas. Youngsters who have appointments for medical tests or procedures will be permitted in the hospital.
In addition, the medical center’s Junior Volunteer Program will be suspended temporarily.
Hoboken UMC is urging any person who seem to have flu-like to stay home. These symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever, chills, runny nose or body aches.
“Most people are very supportive of these new policies,” said Joan Quigley, VP External Affairs, “They understand that flu of any kind can present a serious risk to someone already suffering from another illness. This is a proactive measure Hoboken University Medical Center and other hospitals around the state and nation are taking to protect our patients and visitors.
About Hoboken University Medical Center
Hoboken University Medical Center is a 328-bed facility located in the heart of Hoboken. Hoboken UMC recently unveiled a new state-of-the art Emergency Department that delivers more efficient, better care to Hudson area patients. It is the oldest continuing hospital in New Jersey, with some of the area’s best doctors and nurses, the latest in medical technology, and a host of medical specialties to treat people of all ages and ailments. Hoboken UMC holds a Gold Seal of Approval for high quality patient care and safety from the Joint Commission on Health Care, and is a member of the New Jersey Hospital Association.