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Ballad Health Process Updates for ER and LTC



The following information relates to the transport of COVID-19 patients and the appropriate processes for intake at the ED’s. It is the goal that appropriate patients will be cared for at their local health departments, or at home.  Many measures have been put into place across the region to assist with this.

Please work with your respective dispatch centers to ensure the screening questions suggested by the CDC are being asked.

For those patients that are transported to the ED:

  • Ensure a mask is placed on the patient
  • Provide a thorough report, to include fever and cough symptoms, to the Ballad Health Communications Center, or to the receiving ED for those facilities not answered through the Communications Center.
  • A room will be assigned and communicated to EMS so the patient can be transported directly to the assigned room.


Ballad Health wishes to confirm that the ER at Lonesome Pine remains open.  The in-patient acute care as well as OB and surgical services were moved to Norton Community Hospital.  This means that ALL non-COVID-19 admissions will be sent to NCH, and all OB and surgical services have been moved.  EMS agencies can continue to use the ED for scene responses.


After further review, and speaking with our CNO’s and CEOC leaders, we have chosen not to screen EMS upon each entry to our facilities, as this becomes repetitive for our facility screeners, as well as for our EMS personnel, especially with many EMS agencies having internal processes for screening already in place.

We are asking, however, that each EMS agency implement a formal process for the screening of your personnel that can be obtained and audited. Ballad Health is asking that EMS agencies comply with the following policies:

• Have a screening process for your personnel that is completed at the beginning of each shift, and is logged. Including a temperature in this screening is very important. If you need a resource for the purchase of temp dots I will be glad to send that to you. Sample forms are provided on the Council's COVID-19 site (https://tinyurl.com/s3sxukh)
• I have had a few agencies ask for our language for return to work from sickness, outside of COVID-19 illness. Should you need language for assistance with return to work language for return to work from sickness, outside of COVID-19 illnes, please contact Anita Perry, EMS Liaison
• Effective Saturday, March 21, Ballad Health will no longer allow visitors in our inpatient hospital units, long-term care facilities or behavioral health centers. Exceptions to this policy include labor and delivery units, which will allow one visitor per room. The neonatal intensive care unit at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, as well as rooms with pediatric patients, will allow two visitors, but they must be the patient’s parents or guardians.
• Please assist in sharing Ballad Health's visitation policy. In addition, please ensure no family members accompany you through the EMS ambulance doors, but rather are directed to the main, or ED, entrance so they can be screened appropriately.
• When calling your patient reports into our facilities, or into the Ballad Health Communications Center, please make sure to include COVID-19 screening information in your report. This will assist our staff members to be informed, and to assign beds appropriately. In addition, while I know most agencies cannot screen patients temperature, please report any apparent fever, flushed skin, etc. in your report.

*In addition, this does not change the process in place at our SNF and Rehabilitation facilities. Screenings on every entry will continue in these facilities.


In addition, our Ballad Health facilities will have restricted entry, with some entrances closed.  This will be done in order to screen appropriately.  Please ask your personnel to be patient through these processes, as they are for the safety of all involved.

For those of you that visit Holston Valley Medical Center –

Below is the plan for the entryways into Holston Valley Medical Center (HVMC):

These changes will go into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020.

 Wilcox Hall: 

Radiation Oncology entrance will be open to Radiation Oncology during their normal business hours only (this is currently process already).

Wilcox Main Entrance:  Will be closed until further notice.

Wilcox Sleep Lab Entrance:  Will be closed until further notice.

 Main Hospital:

Main Entrance at Starbucks will be open 5am – 8pm.

Emergency Department Patient Entrance will be open 24/7

Emergency Department Ambulance Bay #1 (closest to ER) open 24/7

Emergency Department Ambulance Bay #2 (further from ER) is already closed and will be closed until further notice.  This will be reevaluated according to volume and need.

Below is the plan for the entryways into Lonesome Pine Hospital (LPH):

The ambulance entrance door will be locked at LPH as it always is. The ED staff will meet EMS upon entry into the ED to complete the required screening. When calling report to the Communications Center if you do not receive an answer please phone the ED at 276-523-8612.


Effective yesterday all Ballad Health Long Term Care Facilities have implemented additional precautions for the safety of our patients and caregivers.  One of these precautions includes a temperature screening of EMS providers as they enter the facility.  This is completed each time the provider enters the facility.

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