WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor Regional Hospital officials say patients with scheduled appointments and procedures can expedite the COVID-19 screening process by completing an online screening form before they arrive.

Since the start of the pandemic in March, WRH staff have screened every patient, visitor and staff member entering hospital facilities in an effort to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.

After launching the online screening process for visitors coming during designated visiting hours last month, the hospital is now extending the service to those with scheduled appointments.

“As we approach the winter months, we want to make sure we don’t have patients waiting in long lines outside to enter our facilities,” said David Musyj, CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital. “We will still have paper copies available for those who are unable to complete the process online, but I would encourage anyone who can screen before coming to the hospital to do so.”

WRH officials say the new tool reduces the time it takes patients and visitors to complete the screening process and is helping to reduce bottlenecks that can occur during peak arrival times, by eliminating the need for individuals to wait in line and fill out paper copies of the form when they arrive.

In some cases, screening in advance is saving visitors a trip to the hospital if they are not cleared to enter.

The online screening service is not yet available for patients visiting the hospital’s Cancer Centre or for renal dialysis.

WRH says this is how it works:

  • Visit and complete the online screening for before each visit/appointment.
  • After submitting the form, you will receive instructions to either proceed or avoid coming to the hospital. These instructions will also be sent by email.
  • If you are cleared to enter the hospital, present your screening status email and photo identification to staff at the screening desk upon arrival.

The online forms must be completed before each visit and are only valid until midnight on the date they are submitted. Those filling out the form must use their correct name and the name of the patient they are planning to visit in order to receive appropriate instructions upon completion of the form.