COVID-19 Updates for Providers

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.

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Patients and the General Public

Patients who meet age or medical condition criteria, as defined by Ohio Department of Health guidelines, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Nationwide Children’s is receiving vaccine allocation and are contacting eligible patients to offer the opportunity to be vaccinated and schedule a vaccination appointment.

Nationwide Children’s is part of Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccination program and is now vaccinating the general public.  

Learn More About Our Vaccine Process

What patients are eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Nationwide Children’s?

Patients must meet age or medical condition criteria for the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We are following the current guidelines outlined by the Ohio Department of Health. Review the complete list of eligible medical conditions here.

How can vaccine eligible patients schedule an appointment?

Patients and/or providers do not need to contact the hospital.

For Patients

  • Vaccine eligible patients who have been seen at Nationwide Children’s within the last 18 months will be contacted via MyChart or by phone call and offered the opportunity to schedule a vaccination appointment. Currently, due to the significant volume of calls and inquiries and the need to focus on patients with the most serious medical conditions, other patients inquiring about the vaccine will be referred to our COVID webpage for more information.
  • The best way for us to contact eligible patients for the COVID-19 vaccine is through MyChart. Please encourage all patients to sign up for a free MyChart account. 

For the General Public

  • Nationwide Children’s is now part of Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccination program and is vaccinating the general public. For patients who meet the state’s vaccine eligibility requirements, COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be scheduled online at NationwideChildrens.org/Vaccine.
 Where is the COVID-19 vaccine clinic?

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic will only be held on main campus in the Orange Clinic. Appointments are necessary for each patient. The vaccine will NOT be available at the hospital’s primary care clinics, urgent care centers, emergency departments, laboratory locations or on a “walk-in” basis.

How much will this vaccine cost my patients?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to eligible Nationwide Children’s patients at no cost.

What vaccine will be given?

The vaccine given to eligible patients will depend on which vaccine(s) the hospital receives at that time. Information about which vaccine they are given will be provided to each patient.

My patients are hesitant, what can I share with them to encourage vaccination?

The unprecedented scientific cooperation, building on a decade of previous research, made possible the rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccines. Despite this shorter-than-normal development timeframe, all testing processes and standards remained the same and no approval shortcuts were taken or allowed. Vaccines have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe for use and Nationwide Children’s is administering them in large numbers to its own staff.

What is the current vaccine distribution plan beyond the current vaccine eligible group?

Vaccine production continues to ramp-up, but for now supplies remain limited and are being provided to the most at-risk frontline staff and patients as determined by the CDC and Ohio Department of Health. Eventually supplies will be sufficient for the vaccine to be more widely available and, after testing and FDA authorization, for all patients. The health and safety of our patients is always our top priority.

Download Patient Vaccine Clinic FAQs

COVID Monoclonal Antibody Therapies

COVID monoclonal antibody therapies are authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients (at least 12 years old and 40 kg) who are at high risk for progressing to severe disease or hospitalization. COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusions are available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for COVID-19 patients who meet the EUA criteria and additional NCH tier-based criteria. Supplies of the monoclonal antibody therapies remain scarce. Physician referral is required.

To Refer a Pediatric Patient:

  • Please review the fact sheets linked below to determine if your patient meets criteria.
  • If you think your patient may meet criteria, please call Physician Direct Connect, our 24-hour physician/provider consult-transfer center, at (614) 355-0221 or 1 (877) 355-0221 to make a referral. If your patient has an EUA high-risk condition that is managed by a specialist at Nationwide Children's, ask to connect to that specialty service to discuss eligibility. If your patient has an EUA high-risk condition not managed by a specialist at Nationwide Children's, then ask to speak to Infectious Diseases (ID).

Fact Sheets For Providers

Additional Resources

Pre-procedure Testing

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.

 

Learn More About Outpatient Testing

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.

View Guidelines for Asymptomatic Athletes

View Guidelines for Symptomatic Athletes

View Return to Play Guidance

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.

Telehealth Appointments

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.

Learn More About Telehealth Services

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.

View Close To Home Locations and Hours of Operation

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.