Passavant Hospital removes waiting room publications

By Benjamin Cox on October 22, 2018 at 10:22pm

Passavant Area Hospital will now only give magazines and newspapers to patients.

The Memorial Health System’s Jacksonville location will no longer provide any reading materials in waiting rooms. The Passavant Area Hospital Foundation Board of Directors has decided to not offer most magazines and newspapers in any waiting rooms of Passavant Area Hospital facilities. The Board says infection prevention is the drive behind the policy change.

The new policy says that no magazines or daily newspapers will be provided in waiting rooms. ‘The Source’ will be placed in two stands, one in the main lobby and one located near the west (Emergency Department) entrance. Each stand will include a sign that says “Single-use copies. Please take your Source with you when you leave or dispose of it.” Though people in Passavant waiting rooms will not have any other free reading materials, all Passavant patients will be provided their own copies of The Source, as well as the Jacksonville Journal Courier and other magazines. Publications given to Passavant patients must be single-use and can either be taken home or discarded.

Passavant Area Hospital Foundation Board President Harry Schmidt explains why this new policy change should be attributed to preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

“That’s one of the things we’re worried about. Obviously, we’re very concerned for our patients, and we want to make sure that we have the best possible healing environment for them. Though we sincerely appreciate the generosity of the community, we do not know where these magazines and newspapers have been beforehand. Not that everything is necessarily unclean, but it’s comparable to hand washing being a competency we have needed to enact so that we can reduce hospital-acquired infections. If we do not know where the magazines and newspapers have been, then we are going to see the spread of some of those communicable diseases in the hospital.”

Schmidt says a presence of smartphones, tablets, and other devices was considered.

“We have also seen that the majority of people in the facility are using some kind of personal device. Often, magazines are strewn about and not used as much generally. We’re putting this in place with the patients in mind.”

Passavant Hospital’s new infection prevention measures have already taken effect.