VA Loma Linda Healthcare System
VA Loma Linda Healthcare Systems (VALLHCS) Medical Center and community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) are still here to meet your health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of our Veteran appointments are being performed virtually via our VA Video Connect app or telephone, we are in the process of preparing for a phased opening of non-elective surgeries, necessary medical procedures, diagnostic imaging and other services necessary to manage the health of our Veteran patients. The information below is provided to inform you of VALLHCS’ current policies and procedures.
What about Care in the Community appointments?
VA Loma Linda staff have continued to attempt to schedule appointments for Veterans eligible for community care throughout the pandemic. Referrals to the community for emergent or urgent clinical needs will continue and VA Loma Linda will work to ensure safe care coordination, given the increased risk environment with COVID-19. As VA Loma Linda resumes normal operations and starts to see face-to-face visits, Community Care will in turn resume coordinating routine care. Care such as Pain Management, Mental Health, chemotherapy, hemodialysis, and maternity care have been coordinated as usual due to the recognized importance in ensuring this care is not delayed or postponed. However, many community providers closed down for a number of weeks and are reopening with limited capacity due to social distancing requirements. Therefore, many community care appointments are scheduled out farther than we would like or are still awaiting scheduling due to limited community care options. If you are waiting to receive an appointment in the community, please know that your care is important to us and we are working hard to get you this care. We apologize for these delays in community care appointments and are contacting providers daily to attempt to make appointments on your behalf.
COVID-19 Testing for Veterans with Symptoms
VALLHCS and CBOCs continue to test symptomatic inpatient and outpatient Veterans for COVID-19. Your care is managed through your primary care physician at our VA Medical Center and community clinics. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms please contact the Emergency Department or your primary care doctor to arrange an appointment for testing.
COVID-19 Testing for Veterans Undergoing a Procedure or Surgery
COVID-19 testing is mandatory prior to your procedure or surgery. Veterans will be tested three days prior to the procedure or surgery. Your provider will contact you with instructions for testing and quarantine.
Please note: Once your test is collected, you will need to self-quarantine until your scheduled surgery day. This will decrease your chances of contracting the virus prior to your surgery date.
Can I bring a family member or friend with me when I get my surgery or procedure?
On the day of your procedure or surgery, please arrange to be dropped off at the medical center. To limit foot traffic in our medical center and protect the safety of our Veterans and staff, currently we are not allowing visitors into our medical center, even to accompany Veterans having medical procedures. Veterans coming in for scheduled procedures who need physical assistance are limited to one attendant. If you provide us with the name and phone number of your family member or friend who is dropping you off for care, we will be happy to assist you in contacting them when your procedure is over and you are ready for pick up.
An Emergency is Still an Emergency – Even During the Pandemic
If you’re experiencing concerning symptoms that may require immediate medical attention, don’t let your worry about the coronavirus keep you from heading to the nearest emergency room right away. Even during the pandemic, you can get health care safely at the VA and in the private sector.
What are we continuing to do to keep you safe?
- VALLHCS and all our clinics are requiring all patients, visitors and employees to wear a face covering (if you forget one, we can provide it to you).
- We are screening all who enter our facility, to include a temperature check.
- Patient rooms and frequently-touched surfaces in common areas and employee work places are being cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.
- Isolating suspected COVID-19 patients in a separate area.
- Ensuring physical distancing as much as possible in our waiting areas.
- Limiting visitation to our Medical Center.
- No visitors are allowed on our inpatient units.
- Veterans coming in for scheduled procedures who need physical assistance are limited to one attendant.
Thank you for choosing the VA Loma Linda Healthcare Systems as your health care provider. It is our honor and privilege to care for the men and women who have served in our nation’s military.