By: Dawn Brand Fluhler—
Muncie, IN – Due to an increasing number of flu cases in Indiana, IU Health Ball, Blackford and Jay Hospitals are taking the precautionary measure of restricting patient visitors within the hospitals. This temporary policy went into effect January 11, 2018. Other IU Health facilities statewide are also implementing restrictions to protect patients, families and team members from unnecessary potential exposure to the flu virus.
For patients, families, team members and media, temporary visitor restriction means:
- Only essential adults (18 or older) will be allowed to visit patients.
- Visitors who have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills or muscle aches, will not be allowed to visit patients.
- Patients with flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear a surgical or isolation mask.
- Exceptions can be made in special circumstances, for example:
- Visiting a patient who is near the end of life
- Breastfeeding mothers may bring their infants
- Older children may visit newborn siblings if they have had their flu vaccine this year
“Although we have not experienced the peak of the flu season in the East Central Region yet, influenza cases have increased statewide,” said Elaine L. Aviah, MPH, RN, CIC, CCRN-K, an infection preventionist at IU Health Ball. “To minimize the further spread of the flu, and protect our patients, we are limiting patient visitors to essential adults only, including immediate family members, parents, spouse/domestic partner and spiritual counselors.”
Ways the public can help prevent the spread of flu include staying home from work or school if experiencing flu-like symptoms, frequent hand washing and disinfecting surfaces and doorknobs.
About Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital serves as a tertiary referral center and teaching hospital for East Central Indiana and part of Indiana University Health. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and maintains 1.2 million square feet of facilities. It is part of an elite group of hospitals with Magnet designation for nursing excellence. More than 17,700 patients are admitted every year and more than 300,000 outpatient procedures are completed annually. Jeff Bird, MD, is President. Learn more at iuhealth.org/ball-memorial.
About IU Health Blackford Hospital
IU Health Blackford Hospital serves as a 15-bed critical access hospital for Hartford City, Indiana, and the surrounding communities. IU Health Blackford Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to a specialty clinic, outpatient surgical services, a paramedic-level ambulance service as well as an outpatient physician practice and pharmacy. Dave Hyatt is Critical Access Hospital (CAH) President in the East Central Region for Indiana University Health. Learn more at iuhealth.org/blackford.
About IU Health Jay Hospital
IU Health Jay is a 25 bed critical access hospital in Portland, Indiana. IU Health Jay Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to a 10 behavioral health unit, inpatient and OB care, surgical services and several medical specialties as well as several outpatient physician practices. Dave Hyatt is Critical Access Hospital (CAH) President in the East Central Region for Indiana University Health. Learn more at iuhealth.org/jay.