VA Central Iowa Health Care System
COVID-19 Update (May 11, 2020)
Visitor Policy Update
To protect our patients, families and health care workers during the outbreak of COVID-19 the following visitor restrictions are being revised effective Monday, April 20, 2020 for VA Central Iowa facilities.
VA Central Iowa Healthcare System will no longer allow any visitors inside campus with the exception noted below. Visitors are not allowed to wait in facility common areas including Canteen, waiting rooms or vending areas. Veterans can be dropped off, those accompanying them should return to their vehicle to wait or return at a later time for pick up.
Exception to allow one visitor:
- ICU, ED, and the imminently dying
For these areas, the visitor is a Primary Caregiver and must meet the following requirements:
- 18 years of age and older
- Always remain in patient room as appropriate
- Limit movement within the facility and avoid common areas
- Must be free from illness such as (fever, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting or runny nose)
- May be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment PPE such as masks, gowns, gloves as directed by staff and medical condition.
Exceptions may be made in certain situations and can be discussed with care teams.
As you arrive for your visit, everyone who enters the campus will be screened. This may lengthen entry times, so please allow for that when arriving for your visit.
Visitor restrictions are temporary and subject to change as necessary.
All caregivers are required to wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand gel/foam upon entering and exiting patient’s room.
We understand these visitor restrictions may be difficult for you. While we are committed to providing a family-centered care environment, right now restricting visitors is in the best interest of our patients, staff and community.
Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.
VA Central Iowa Virtual Visit Support Team to arrange Patient and Family Virtual Visitations
To help support our patients’ emotional well-being and help keep them connected with their loved ones during our current visitor restrictions, a Virtual Visit Support Team has been created at VA Central Iowa. The Virtual Visit Support Team (VVST) is a team of redeployed VA team members who are available to arrange virtual visits for patient/family communication. The team members will also be available to assist caregivers with virtual communication needs for patients who are in isolation.
The VVST will be available to make visits Monday-Friday between 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Visits will generally be 10-15 minutes and will be completed the day after the request is made to allow time to schedule a visit time with the patient and loved ones.
To arrange a visit for a patient:
- Call 515-699-5421 and request a Virtual Visit. Remember these will not be same day visits.
- Provide the following information to the staffing center:
- Name/ Last 4 of veteran
- Requested Visit Date
- Building/ Unit
- Room Number
- Name of individual requesting Visit
- Phone number and/or email of Family/ Friend to coordinate with for the visit
Point of Contact: Lori Clair, VA Central Iowa Patient Advocate, 515-699-5522, Lori.Clair@va.gov
The Central Iowa VA Health Care System serves veterans from all over central Iowa. In addition to our main medical center in Des Moines, we offer a number of services to our patients in 5 community-based outpatient clinics.
For your convenience and safety, we have special waiting areas throughout the facility. Please do not gather in the hallways or at the nurses' stations. You may also want to review our Visiting Hours and Policies. Currently Restricted as of April 20, 2020 do to COVID-19 Operations.
We have volunteers who work in the Intensive Care waiting areas at specific times. Please check in, and give the volunteer the patient's name. If you leave the waiting area at any time, please let the volunteer know, in case we need to contact you.
Central Iowa VA has a Police Service. Our officers provide 24-hour patrols of the facility and parking lots. Report all suspicious or criminal activity, vehicle accidents, and personal property losses to the VA Police while on the facility grounds as soon as possible.
Because the VA Medical Center is federal property, all persons and bags are subject to search. In addition, no weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs are permitted.