UTAH (ABC4) – Intermountain Healthcare has announced that every patient hospitalized at an Intermountain facility will now be able to have a clergy as a designated visitor.
“We recognize and value the importance of spiritual care for patients who desire this support. For hospital patients, a clergy or spiritual advisor visitor can be present in keeping with the two-designated visitors-per-patient guidelines,” says Amy Christensen, MSN, RN, vice president and CNO for specialty-based care at Intermountain Healthcare.
To encourage social distancing and infection prevention, Intermountain hospital facilities will only allow a maximum of two visitors per patient at any given time.
Whether the designated clergy is a member of the community or Intermountain-employed clergy, they are welcome allowed to visit patients as long as they have not recently been exposed to COVID-19.
Hospital officials say clergy and visitors must also follow hospital safety and sanitation guidelines including handwashing before and after their visit, wear a mask, and use any other appropriate personal protective equipment (with the help and guidance of Intermountain caregivers) at all times during their visit(s).
“If clergy do not feel comfortable entering facilities due to personal safety reasons, Intermountain caregivers will assist patients in finding alternate solutions including the use of hospital-employed clergy or other clergy in the community, or conducting virtual visits with the clergy of the patient’s choice,” says Christensen.
Hospital officials added that Intermountain chaplains are available via phone and tele-visit. To request chaplain services, at hospitals that don’t have in-person chaplains, the public can call 801-357-8781 and leave a detailed message stating your facility, referring caregiver name and phone number, patient’s last name and room number (if applicable), and whether the patient would like to be contacted via phone or telehealth.
Services are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Officials added that after-hours calls will be returned by the next business day.
Chaplains will reportedly remain available in person at these facilities: Primary Children’s, Utah Valley, St. George Regional, and McKay-Dee hospitals.