May 15, 2020 broadcast and summary

May 15, 2020


This week, we were without a COVID patient in the hospital for a couple of days.  That allowed us to make some changes in the different units that we had stood up temporarily for a volume surge along with how resources were deployed.

COVID unit has been taken offline, but could be reopened at any time when a 3rd COVID patient is admitted.  Additionally, the 4 additional surge beds that we opened on 3rd floor for an overflow of COVID patients has also been taken offline.  Capacity for COVID patients during a surge was 13 and the highest positive volume we reached was 7.

Current volume is manageable with isolation rooms on the medical surgical unit on 3rd floor.

The one thing we’ve learned from this is how difficult it is to change policies and procedures so quickly within a large organization.  It’s difficult to get it right the first time.  Incident Command team met 4-5 times a week and conveyed messages to directors and supervisors.  Reasonable goal for compliance during a time like this is 75-80%.

COVID Volumes:

  • # of COVID inpatients – 1
  • Cumulative # of COVID admissions – 27
  • Deaths – 3
  • Respiratory Clinic # – The past 2 days, only 1 patient/day. Next week, Respiratory Clinic will adjoin with Express Care.
  • Drive Thru # – Average number this week = 13
  • Total tests administered by Newman Regional Health – 822

Lyon County EOC

  • Working to create a consistent data collection process

Hospital volumes

  • Consistently, rural hospitals are down 30-40% in outpatient volumes.
  • Timeframe for well visits during the first part of the day has increased an hour
  • Over the last week, we have recovered about 50% of our outpatient clinic volumes (approximately 78 patients throughout the 5-day clinic schedule)
  • Diagnostic testing will increase resulting in an increase in procedures.

Availability/Volume of Testing

  • 18 tests were administered yesterday (5/14) in the drive thru and within the Emergency Department. At this rate, we have enough testing supplies on hand for 150 days.  If testing were to increase to our peak rate, we would have closer to 100 days on hand.
  • We had 245 test kits at the start of this pandemic. Currently, we have approximately 3,000.
  • Current concern is overwhelming the laboratories which could result in a testing result delay.

Re-establishment of services/re-opening

  • Infection control processes – focus has always been on cleaning with an outstanding infection prevention and environmental services team. The additional protocols needed for COVID is the personal protective equipment.
  • Clinical processes/protocols – patients scheduled for a procedure will undergo a screening test within 72 hours of the procedure and isolate until the day of surgery. Nursing home or assisted living facility patients will receive a COVID test before discharge to ensure the patient is negative upon discharge.
  • Safety steps – screening and visitation restrictions will continue for the next month. Patients can feel safe coming to the hospital.


  • From the perspective of the administrative team, getting back to normal will feel somewhat abnormal.
  • Fortunately, our staffing numbers remained high throughout everything.

Thanks to the community for the additional recognition you have given to the staff.

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Newman Regional Health
1201 W 12th Avenue
Emporia, KS 66801
Newman Medical Plaza
1301 W 12th Avenue
Emporia, KS 66801