Bob Wright re: Newman Regional Health Response
8 total COVID-19 admissions (cumulative)
Newman Regional Health continues to provide high quality medical care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We have an outstanding group of physicians, and clinical care team keeping things going within the facility for medical care completely unrelated to COVID-19. Patients with heart disease, COPD, trauma, injuries, etc. continue to seek medical care and the regular cases of urgent and emergent care continues. ER and Express Care volumes have decreased during this time which may be attributable to the stay at home order. Respiratory Clinic volumes have decreased over the past week.
Decrease in elective procedures – some due to our organizational decisions and others due to decisions from the patient.
Tips/tricks for cloth face masks:
- Recommended to wear in public settings where social distancing cannot be maintained as a safe precaution to keep yourself and others healthy
- Recommended use of homemade face masks due to PPE shortage
- Launder regularly, depending on frequency of use – washing machines is a proper way to clean
- Remove by taking off ear loops first
- Use hand hygiene before putting it on and after removing
A reminder that cell phones are just as important to clean as our hands and often carry just as many, if not more, germs.
Currently experiencing a delay in test result turnaround that has increased from 6-10 days after time of collection using Quest laboratory in Lenexa, KS. Quest laboratory has started sending specimens to California for resulting to help catch up with the volume they are experiencing. Test collections that can be sent to the state laboratory are, but it can only be those tests that meet specific criteria (i.e. hospitalized patients, healthcare workers). Increase in test result turnaround causes an increase in the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) within the community, and causes difficulty in knowing how far patients are in the illness.
% positive based on population
State consistency within Kansas with an approximate 10% positive test rate. Lyon County is testing at a higher rate based on population within the state – 30% higher test rate. Lyon County has a higher population density than the surrounding counties.
Piloting Newman Regional Health Medical Partners virtual visits through Zoom with a family medicine provider. Virtual visits through our Meditech platform will begin 4/13 requiring patients to have a patient portal account. For more information on a portal account, visit www.newmanrh.org/healthrecords. Virtual visits will help to coordinate care for patients without asking them to come in to the doctor’s office.
Women’s Life Center
Newman Regional Health Women’s Life Center was recently recognized as a Kansas Birth Center for achieving the Center of Excellence in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Education Designation.
Same precautions are taken on 4th floor in the Women’s Life Center as we are doing organization-wide. Expecting mothers with questions or for an OB check are being asked to call as opposed to coming in and a staff member can speak with them about their condition over the phone to help eliminate visits to the hospital. Labor & delivery patients are limited to one support person during the entirety of their stay.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Currently waiting on an allotment of surgical and procedure masks that were originally anticipated for mid-April and has been postponed to beginning of May. Inventory on hand is enough for 2.5 weeks.
Patient care staff is issued one surgical/procedure mask per shift.
Currently working on a protocol for issuing cloth masks to patients upon entrance into the facility. Those that present with symptoms are issued a cloth face mask 100% of the time. The current discussion is for those that do not present with symptoms. It is requested that community mask donations continue – remains an urgent need for as long as we remain in this situation.
For those in patient care areas, education has been provided to them about hygiene and how to best handle the laundering of scrubs when they end their shift and return home.
Approximately 240 employees have been fit tested for their N95 face mask respirators.
Staff in non-patient care areas are welcome to wear their own personal mask
Gifts of Appreciation from Community Partners
Working to streamline an organized process for gifts of appreciation from community partners to help equally distribute these among staff. It is requested that community partners interested in providing Newman Regional Health staff with gifts of appreciation (i.e. food, drink, notes, videos, etc.), please contact the Business Development department at (620) 343-6800 ext. 21920 or firstname.lastname@example.org to help coordinate these efforts. Thank you to all who have donated so far and wish to do so in the future.
Beginning April 13, a new employee screening process will be put into place including a log of employee temperature and symptom screening.