Prepare for Your Visit - VA Caribbean Healthcare System
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VA Caribbean Healthcare System

 

Prepare for Your Visit

Prepare for a visit: Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited. Face coverings are mandatory. Please contact us first before going to any of our locations. For some needs, you may be able to get care at home by phone or video.

Importance of Wearing a Mask

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend all individuals wear masks in public or when around people who don’t live in the same household to stop the spread of COVID-19. VA requires masks to be worn while on our campuses and in our facilities.

This is especially true for people with lung diseases like asthma, emphysema and COPD because they may be at greater risk of severe complications and even death from COVID-19.

The American Lung Association, among others, indicate wearing a mask does not significantly affect oxygen or carbon dioxide levels.

Individuals who have trouble tolerating a mask due to claustrophobia or anxiety can lessen these feelings by progressively wearing the mask for longer periods of time to adjust. They can also try different kinds of masks to find one that fits better or is more comfortable. Patients can speak with their health care provider about other options that may be available but still provide an acceptable level protection.  It is important to note that masks with breathing valves do not offer protection but rather allow for the spread of the virus. If patients arrive on campus with this type of mask, they will be required to wear a VA issued one.

Your Safe Care is Our Mission

If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, please call 9-1-1 or visit an emergency room closest to you.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19

If you are sick or have symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath), the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is the best, first contact before visiting our facilities. Staff are available 24/7 for nurse advice and triage, VA Video Connect, VA Health Chat and more. Contact us at: 1-877-741-3400

Testing for COVID-19

Currently, VA is testing patients and employees who are symptomatic as well as those who are scheduled for medical procedures. We are also testing employees and residents of our Community Living Centers and other inpatient units in accordance with current CDC guidance.

Safety Measures at Our Facilities  

Your safety is important to us.  The following measures have been implemented:
  • All individuals should wear appropriate face masks (cloth, surgical/generic) while on our campuses and in our facilities; health care providers will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • No Visitations; virtual visits are encouraged
  • Cleaning of high-touch surfaces in our facilities
  • Increased physical distancing in common areas like waiting rooms, Canteen and retail stores

What to expect when you’re here

When you come to our facilities for your appointment, things will likely look a little differently and some of our processes have changed for your continued safety.
Because your health and wellbeing is a top priority we will continue to observe precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Currently, access to our facility is limited for emergency care or by appointment only.
  • Access to the facilities is allowed only within 30 minutes of your appointment. Please exit the facilities no later than 30 minutes after the completion of your appointment.
  • Patients, visitors, and employees will all be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entry into our buildings. Please allow a few extra minutes for this process.
  • If you have opted in to VEText, you will be asked to check-in using that option. Otherwise, your care team will provide instruction on check-in procedures.
  • You are asked to wear a face covering or mask while in our facilities; our staff will wear masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) as well.
  • Please observe physical distancing signage in waiting areas, elevators, canteen and other common areas.
  • Veteran access to the medical center is limited to gate #2 on Casia Street.
  • Caregivers will not be allowed to join you for your appointment unless you need them for mobility or cognitive support. It is important that your care team has their contact information so we can call them when you are ready for pick-up.
We continue to manage the number of Veterans who come to our facilities for health care.  We encourage Veterans to continue to use our virtual care options (Telehealth, VA Video Connect, VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center) for most primary care and mental health services. Learn more at www.connectedcare.va.gov/  Patients who need an in-person appointment will be scheduled by their care team.

Everyone is required to wear a face covering in our facilities.  Veterans and their caregivers are permitted to wear homemade or cloth masks if they are clean and fully cover the lower part of the face.  If you do not have a mask on entry to any VA facility, we will provide one to you.

We will continue to control access through strict entry point health screening, to include temperature taking.  We exhort Veterans to answer all COVID-19 related questions conducted by check point staff the best of their ability.  Please be mindful that entering our facilities with COVID-19 symptoms and not disclosing them at the checkpoints puts everyone at risk. Plan to allow extra time for this process.

Visitation Hours continue to be suspended until further notice; exceptions may be made in compassionate cases.

Pharmacy: 

Veterans are exhorted to request medication refills by using one of the following options:

-By Phone:  Call 1-877-737-8820 and follow instructions.
-Online/Internet: Visit My HealtheVet at http://www.myhealth.va.gov/  
-By Mail: Send mail refill form to:  VA Caribbean Healthcare System (119), Casia 10, San Juan PR 00921.
-IMPORTANT:  Veterans without refills or have questions about a prescription should call the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400 immediately.

The Heritage Emergency Prescritpion Refill Program contract for Veterans in the United Statres Virgin Isalnds has been extended through July 15, 2020.


Virtual Care Options

The VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is a service of the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) - providing 24/7, virtual care and support to Veterans enrolled for VA Health Care in Florida, South Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Veterans who receive care in the network can call 1-877-741-3400 around the clock to get their health questions or concerns answered from the comfort and convenience of their home, or wherever they may be.  Veterans can also contact the center using VA Health Chat – a secure mobile chat application available for IOS and Android devices – Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Services include general administrative support, nurse advice and triage, virtual visits with a doctor or nurse practitioner via telephone, VA Video Connect, or VA Health Chat.

Other virtual access to care options available too.  Learn more at www.connectedcare.va.gov.

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