Nationwide Children’s Hospital is always here as a partner in caring for children in Columbus and beyond and keeping them safe and healthy. As our community has battled the COVID-19 virus, we have remained open, providing essential care to families. During this time, we introduced and expanded telehealth services, helping our patients through more than 200,000 virtual visits.
Notice: Patient Information and Testing Line Wait Times
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our community, Nationwide Children’s is seeing a sharp increase in community provider testing referrals, as well as calls to our COVID-19 hotline from parents requesting COVID-19 testing for their child(ren). Extremely high call volume is causing longer than normal wait times. Please prepare your families for this and assure them that their call will be answered, but it could take time.
|If You Are...||Then...|
|A health care provider requesting a physician-to-physician consultation, referral, transport, or direct admission||Call Physician Direct Connect, our 24-hour physician/provider consult-transfer center, at (614) 355-0221 or 1 (877) 355-0221.|
|A health care provider seeking information on testing criteria and process or general clinical information related to COVID-19||Call our COVID-19 Provider Information Line at (614) 722-2009. This line is staffed by APNs Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.|
|A health care provider who pre-screened a patient and the patient had a positive COVID-19 pre-screen||Refer the patient to the Nationwide Children’s COVID-19 Patient Information and Testing Line at (614) 722-2787. The line is staffed by nurses 24/7.|
Nationwide Children’s is continuing to test all patients prior to any sedated procedures.
For any appointments scheduled directly by our referring physicians, it is important to reinforce that all patients will be tested 24 hours prior to the appointment and that the parent will be contacted by a Nationwide Children’s scheduler to schedule that appointment separately from the procedure.
In order to ensure the safety of staff and patients, patients who meet criteria for pre-procedure testing will have COVID-19 testing performed within 24 hours of their scheduled procedure. If undergoing testing, patient families will be contacted prior to the testing date to confirm a time to visit our drive thru testing facility.
Patient families will only be notified if their child’s test returns as positive. In those cases, the surgeon and care team will determine whether the procedure will proceed as scheduled or if it will be scheduled for a later date.
Return to Play After COVID-19 Infection
There is new evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, may affect the heart more than other viruses and has the potential to cause myocarditis. One way to test for myocarditis is with a cardiac MRI.
While there is some emerging information that shows evidence of myocarditis on the MRIs of college athletes, we do not know for certain what this means in terms of actual risk of sudden death. However, in those who had significant symptoms with their COVID-19, the risk is likely higher than those who were asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic.
Maintaining a Safe Environment for Patients and Visitors
Keeping patients, families and staff safe is our first and most important priority. Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping us all safe as we work together across four main safety efforts.
- Universal Masking – All Nationwide Children’s staff and visitors are required to wear “procedure” or “loop” masks in all clinical areas, all common areas and when closer than six feet from co-workers. Masks will be available at main entrances or other appropriate locations.
- Visitor Guidelines – Patients are limited to one visitor for outpatient visits and procedures and two visitors for inpatient care. Inpatient visitors will undergo temperature screens. The visitors cannot change during the patients’ stay, must be healthy, and over the age of 18.
- Environment Updates – To help maintain physical distancing, fewer patients will be scheduled during clinic times and waiting rooms will be redesigned. Plexiglass dividers will be at registration locations, and all exam and public spaces will continue to undergo deep cleanings.
Nationwide Children’s continues to offer telehealth appointments for both current and new patients. Visits for all outpatient services can be conducted via telephone or video.
To find out if a telehealth appointment is appropriate for their visit, families should contact their provider.
Families can learn more about this service here. Questions? Call Physician Direct Connect at (614) 355-0221.
Close To Home Center Radiology and Lab Referrals
If a patient is being referred to a Close To Home Center for radiology and/or lab testing and has a persistent cough or fever, please include that information on the outpatient script and notify the center by phone call. This allows staff upfront notification that there is suspicion for COVID-19. While staff members have screening protocols in place, this information will help them appropriately screen patients and eliminate unnecessary exposure during this time.
For More Information Regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus:
- Health care providers can consult their local or state public health authority to obtain guidance on managing patients who may have COVID-19.
- The CDC website has the most-current information about COVID-19, including home isolation instructions for those with suspected COVID-19.
- Nationwide Children’s has created a dedicated hotline just for health care providers to answer questions about COVID-19. The COVID-19 Provider Hotline is (614) 722-2009. This line is staffed by APNs Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Please Note: This number is for providers only. For information on the patient testing hotline, please refer to the pre-screening criteria.