Prepare for Your Visit - James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital - Tampa, Florida
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James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital - Tampa, Florida

 

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.

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.

VA continues to be cautious as we move into the next phase of resuming additional face-to-face appointments and procedures; the following policies remain in effect:

  • Visitation Policy:  No visitors are permitted at this time. Additional guests are not allowed to accompany Veterans to appointments. Exceptions may be made for end-of-life or other concerns on a case-by-case basis. If exceptions are made, no one under the age of 18 is permitted. We cannot allow no visitors on COVID units, in Community Living Centers (CLC) or other inpatient/residential units.
  • Designated Caregiver/Support Person for Outpatient Appointments or Procedures:  One designated caregiver/support person can accompany patients requiring physical or cognitive assistance. If you have an upcoming medical procedure, we ask that your support person/driver wait in the designated location or in their vehicle.  One of our employees will keep them informed of your progress and when it’s time to pick you up.
  • COVID-19 Screening: All individuals must pass COVID-19 screening prior to entry to our facilities. Individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed in our facilities.
  • Masks: Appropriate masks must always be worn while in our facilities. Veterans and others who forget a mask will be supplied one by our staff.
  • Physical Distancing: All individuals who visit and work at our medical centers and clinics are required to practice physical distancing.  Signs, floor stickers, and furniture in common areas have been arranged to assist all in adhering to physical distancing requirements.
  • Face-to-face Appointments:  Traditional face-to-face appointments remain limited for some services and clinics.  Please contact your local facility before coming for a “walk-in” appointment. Veterans who are making or who have face-to-face appointments at our medical center or clinics should discuss restrictions and the check-in process prior to arriving for appointments. 
  • 24/7 Virtual Urgent Care: The VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center is available 24/7 for urgent care needs, nurse triage and pharmacy support. Veterans can call 1-877-741-3400 to receive around-the-clock care or use the VA Health Chat app Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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 ConnectVA 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.

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.

Approved Face Masks

Operational Status - Limited Services

James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital & Clinics’ is using a phased approach to resuming limited face-to-face services. Please note that these operations are subject to change based on community spread of COVID-19 and any policies enacted to contain it. See below for updates.

All outpatient clinics (Primary Care Annex, South Hillsborough, New Port Richey, Brooksville, Lakeland, Zephyrhills and Lecanto) continue to have limited services and are open ONLY for urgent referred appointments (no walk-ins)

When arriving for an appointment:

  • Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Everyone entering our facilities is screened, and visitors are limited. No visitors or companions will be allowed to enter the clinic. We would be happy to include your family member via telephone or video.
  • 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.
  • If you have a text-enabled cell phone, we encourage you to use our new VEText feature. VEText Patient Tracking allows Veterans with a scheduled appointment to notify their care team when they have arrived at the facility. The Veteran must have a cell phone that is on file in their electronic health record (check with your primary care provider). Patients should arrive no more than 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. When you arrive to the facility text "here" to 53079 and wait for further instructions before entering the building. This will notify the care team that the Veteran is at the facility waiting to be called to their appointment. VEText auto-responds with a message acknowledging the check-in and sends a text response back instructing the patient to await further instructions. The Veteran is asked to stay in their vehicle until they receive a text that the provider is ready to see them in the clinic.
  • If a Veteran doesn’t have a cell phone with texting capability, they may proceed to the clinic and follow directions to identified waiting areas. Veterans who experience problems with VEText or have additional questions may call the clinic using the facility telephone number and speak with the scheduler. We are aware that many of our patients do not use text-enabled phones and so we encourage them to still call the clinic upon arrival.
  • DID YOU KNOW...you can also use VEText to self-screen before your appointment? VEText Self-Screening allows Veterans, Caregivers, and employees to answer questions on their mobile phones and share results at the VA facility entrance. Staff members can then quickly triage people to either enter the building or go to a designated area for more screening. This can help reduce wait times, ease stress, and lower exposure risk
    • To start using the COVID-19 Screening Tool, text “Screen” to 53079
    • Here are the screening questions that will be asked (all Yes or No):
    • Are you a VA employee or contractor?
    • If the past 24 hours, have you had a fever?
    • In the past 7 days, have you had a cough or shortness of breath that’s new or getting worse?
    • In the past 3 days, have you had any of these symptoms? Fever or feeling feverish (chills, sweating); sore throat; muscle pain or body aches; vomiting ot diarrhea; change in smell or taste
    • Do you currently have a sore throat, runny nose, or nasal congestion?
    • In the past 14 days, have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 when you weren’t wearing a face covering?

       Once screened the patient will receive one of two responses to show the screeners at the facility:

       

Pharmacy Mail Delivery Information

During the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Veterans may have noticed increased shipping times for mail order prescriptions as more Americans are using delivery options.  Re-order medication refills as early as possible.  Refill requests can be made as soon as you receive a prescription.  We encourage Veterans to sign up for USPS Informed Delivery and UPS MyChoice – both are free services that notify you when packages are on the way.  You may also order and track certain prescriptions in MyHealtheVet.  Thank you for your service to our country, and for choosing VA Pharmacy.

Drive-Thru Triage

JAHVH has set-up a drive-thru triage screening area at the parking garage located on the main hospital grounds at 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. The drive-thru triage service will be available 24 hours per day 7 days per week starting today at 1 p.m. until further notice.  This is designed to provide a safe and rapid screen for people who are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other flu/coronavirus like symptoms.

When you arrive at the drive-thru triage area, please remain in your vehicle and proceed to the clearly marked in-vehicle screening station where you will be evaluated by a medical provider.    

UPDATE effective July 16:  Outpatient Lab Services

Beginning Thursday, July 16, the James A. Haley VA Laboratory has moved its second location to Building 68 on the 2nd floor. The hours of operation will be 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday – Fridjavascript:void(0)ay and 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturdays. This second location will allow us to meet a larger demand for laboratory services while still practicing social distancing for the safety of Veterans and employees.  Laboratory services are still provided in the main hospital on the 1st floor. Appointments are required for both locations and can be made by calling (813) 972-2000 extension 7898.

Hours of Operation:

Main Outpatient Lab
Building 1, 1st Floor
Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Outpatient Lab Building 68
2nd Floor
Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 

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Facility Status