5 Tips If You Travel During COVID-19
Travel seemed to come to a complete halt a few months back due to the pandemic. As restrictions have lifted and summer has arrived, people have started to slowly resume their willingness to travel. While there is risk no matter what you do right now, traveling is one you can take a few extra precautions with to ensure you are minimizing your chances of acquiring COVID-19.
Check the local COVID-19
– All states, provinces and countries have varying restrictions right now. Be sure to review their up to date policies on coming to their city/state/province or country before arriving. You may be required to self quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter. Also take note of the rules your own state, province or country has on returning home. Informing yourself about respective guidelines coming and going could prevent you from having to return home and keep you as safe as possible.
Driving vs Flying
– Many people are fearful of flying right now, however, per the US CDC, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. The issue revolves around the ability to social distance, or lack there of. There may be situations where it is a crowded flight and you are forced to sit next to someone less than 6 feet away from you that could be a carrier. Taking a bus or driving can also pose increased risks. There are still stops for food, gas and bathroom breaks that can put you in close contact with others and touching surfaces. The key is to be aware of your surroundings, wear your mask and make sure you are washing or sanitizing your hands after you’ve touched public surfaces.
Anticipate Your Travel Needs
– Wearing a mask has been proven to help reduce your chances of getting or passing along the COVID-19 virus. Make sure you have a mask with you at all times. It is wise to bring a couple of extra ones in case you lose one or it gets dirty. Having a few extra zip lock bags to store them in after each use will also keep them from being set down on a surface that might have germs. Bring your own food and drinks when possible. This will reduce contact with others in ordering. Make sure you also have hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for situations where soap and water are not available.
Hotels and Lodging
-Review the hotels updated policies on how they are handling the cleaning of your room and their common areas. Many places have suspended daily room cleaning unless requested and the majority of them have provided hand sanitizer every where you turn. All major chains are taking extra precautions to sanitize your room, however, to err on the side of caution, take your own clorox or disinfecting wipes and clean all high touch surfaces such as door knobs, light switches and faucets for good measure. You can always request a room that has been vacant for at least 24 hours. Many hotels are not up to 100% capacity so this might be an easy request to accommodate. Always wear your mask in the lobby and hallways as you are moving through the hotel, especially in the elevator. Elevators are small spaces and someone who was not masked up could have coughed or sneezed prior to you coming on and the particles might still be in the air. Only ride with the people in your party and wait for the next elevator should there be people you don’t know already in there. This not only protects you, it also gives the other riders their own space.
– Public places have been given the burden of taking extra safety measures to keep their doors open. This can create long delays or a situation of not having access to what you traveled there for. Try to be as patient with the employees and delays as much as possible. They are only doing their job to make things safer for you. Give them an extra smile or a compliment of thanks or gratitude to show your appreciation of their extra efforts for you.
5 Things An Excellent Hospital Should Have If You Travel For Medical Reasons
Are you traveling for medical care and wonder what’s important in a hospital? See below for some things to consider in selecting your hospital of choice.
1.The first place you should start is to research the hospital where you will have the surgery to ensure it is reputable and has appropriate accreditation. The most recognized one is Joint Commission International (JCI). It is considered a gold standard in global healthcare. Other organizations such as Accreditation Canada and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) are a couple of others that are acceptable.
All facilities in the US and Canada are required to have these types of accreditation. We have come across hospitals in other countries that claim they are ‘accredited’. This can be misleading to the patient. The accreditations they list do not have the same standards that the JCI or AAAHC has.
A hospital that has one of these accreditations will have the procedures in place that measure:
⁃patient rights and education
⁃medication management to prevent medical errors
⁃the process on how the hospital verifies that its doctors, nurses and other staff qualification and competency
⁃what preparations are there for emergencies
⁃how it collects data on its performance and uses that data to improve itself
Risks associated with a facility that does NOT have the appropriate accreditation could include:
⁃blood not being screened for HIV or Hepatitis
⁃reuse of syringes
⁃poor quality medications
⁃doctors or nurses that are not qualified
⁃higher risk of infection rate
2.Look at the hospital infection, re-admission and mortality rates and compare it to a state, province or country average. This should be available on the hospital website or you can also check with the state or provinces’ department of health. Many of them now require monitoring for serious reportable events or incidents.
3. How do they handle your medical records and information? In the US and Canada, hospitals must adhere to standards such as HIPAA and PIPEDA. This is a law that protects the patients’ data and medical history.
4. Doctors and nurses that have experience in working with International patients and speak English fluently. This may seem obvious but not all International hospitals will have English speaking doctors and staff. This is incredibly important because you need to be able to understand everything being said. There needs to be an English speaking guide to get you to and from where you need to be in the hospital as well as have an English speaking doctor and nurse that will be treating you.
5. Know what their emergency protocol is should there be one. What precautions do they take and what type of life saving measures do they have? Are they partnered with another larger hospital? Is their equipment up to date?
Contact Health Vantis for more information on how to choose the right facility/hospital for you! Your safety is important to us and we verify all 5 of these points for you.
World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day is August 19th. This is a day to commemorate all of the aide and health care workers who provide life saving support and protection to those in need. This year is especially important to honour them in light of the pandemic. Thank you to all of our health care workers world wide for your time and dedication these past few months.