San Francisco VA Health Care System
San Francisco VA Health Care System to expand in-person services to Veteran patients
June 18, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco VA Health Care System’s (SFVAHCS) medical center and six community-based outpatient clinics are expanding in-person health care services as California continues to reopen after COVID-19 shutdowns. Starting this week, the San Francisco VA Medical Center and clinics will resume select services, such as certain elective procedures and specialty care appointments.
The move to expand services is in accordance with Veterans Health Administration’s multi-phased risk-based framework which guides the resumption of normal operations while ensuring the health and safety of Veterans and staff.
“The safety of Veterans and staff is the highest priority when we consider how we provide health care services and procedures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” SFVAHCS Director Bonnie Graham said. “As a high reliability organization, safety is always paramount and will continue to guide our decision making.”
SFVAHCS has instituted the following guidelines for Veterans as it gradually expands its in-person services:
- Mandatory screening and hand sanitizing of everyone – patients, caregivers, employees, contractors, etc. - prior to entering all facilities.
- Universal masking policy for everyone at all times within the facility.
- COVID-19 testing for all pre-procedural, newly admitted, transferred and symptomatic patients. Veterans will be contacted by their care providers and be given an appointment. Patients requiring COVID-19 testing will be directed to testing sites at the medical center and community-based outpatient clinics. Testing at these sites are by appointment only.
- Physical distancing protocols (installation of plexiglass; floor markings; signage; removing/marking chairs for spacing; waiting processes for pharmacy and lab) to increase spacing among patients and staff, as well as continuing to offer telework options for staff.
- Enhanced cleaning/housekeeping/decontamination/sterilization protocols.
- Restricted access to SFVAHCS facilities only to patients and their caregivers. Only Veterans with scheduled appointments, or those with medical emergencies are allowed to enter SFVAHCS facilities at this time.
- Physical shields, such as sneeze guards, separating the driver from passengers on our shuttles, which transport both patients and employees. Seating has been staggered to ensure physical distancing.
- Enhanced physical distancing, masking, screening and cleaning protocols at our Hoptel.
For more information, Veterans should contact the San Francisco VA Medical Center or their local VA outpatient clinic or visit https://www.sanfrancisco.va.gov/.
About San Francisco VA Health Care System
The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) is a comprehensive network that provides health services to Veterans through the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and six community-based outpatient clinics in Santa Rosa, Eureka, Ukiah, Clearlake, San Bruno and downtown San Francisco. The SFVAHCS has a long history of conducting cutting-edge research, establishing innovative medical programs, and providing compassionate care to Veterans. SFVAMC has several National Centers of Excellence in the areas of epilepsy treatment, cardiac surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV and renal dialysis. SFVAMC’s $81 million research program is one of the largest in the Veterans Health Administration. SFVAMC has been affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine for more than 50 years.