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OSH switches to Teams for virtual patient visits

Friday, April 16, 2021

​Effective Monday, April 19, Oregon State Hospital is switching from Skype for Business to Teams for virtual visits with patients.

Visitors will not need to install a program or account to use Teams, and there will be no lapse in service. The hospital is making the change because the Oregon Health Authority is retiring Skype for Business, and Teams is the new, approved system.

Virtual visits are a way for patients to remain connected with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the pandemic, OSH will continue to offer virtual visits for patient visitors.

OSH is constantly monitoring the CDC, WHO and OHA expert medical recommendations for when it can safely resume in-person visitation — including the latest recommendations for those who have been vaccinated. For the time being, in-person visits are neither allowed in long-term-care facilities nor acute care centers in Oregon.

While the rollout of vaccines in Oregon is promising, it will take time to reach the level of community immunity needed to fully return to normal life — especially in healthcare settings. OSH will post to Facebook and the OSH website when there are updates to share.

In the meantime:

  • Patients can register for two, 15-minute visits per day between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Visits will not be available during mealtimes.
  • Patients will call their friends and family to pick time slots that work for everyone.
  • Once the times are reserved, OSH staff will email meeting links to their loved ones – which will only work for the date and time patients selected.
  • Visits will be scheduled two days in advance. For example, links sent on a Wednesday will be for a Friday meeting.

Visitors will receive an email with step-by-step instructions on how to use Teams and a “Frequently Asked Questions" document with more information. OSH cannot provide visitors with in-depth technical support for these visits.

Patients will initiate all visits, and visits are limited to people on their approved visitor list. Potential visitors may first complete a visitor application and go through the approval process at any time.

Please contact OSH Family Services in Salem at 503-947-8109, at 541-465-2785 in Junction City and at for general questions, or for more information on the application process. Additional information about visitor applications is listed online on the OSH Family Services web page.



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