March 31, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unique challenges that require creative, sustainable and evidence-based solutions. We want you to know as we address them that the safety of our patients and workforce is top of mind.
Medical City Healthcare, and our parent company HCA Healthcare, have built a sharp set of best practices and a robust network of response teams to help us mobilize quickly and scale accordingly.
Here are just a few of the steps we are taking to assure uninterrupted care for our patients and to help ensure we have what we need for our caregivers for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Universal Masking. In an abundance of caution, we have taken steps that go beyond current CDC recommendations to continue protecting staff and providers while maintaining proper PPE availability. For their protection, all staff and providers in all patient care areas wear masks, including all support staff who move in and through these areas.
- PPE conservation and reuse. Although we currently have adequate supplies of PPE and continue to source additional supply, we have implemented and continue to evolve a PPE conservation and reprocessing initiative under recommended guidance by the Centers for Disease Control.
- Physician and visitor screening. We are limiting visitors at hospitals and clinics to ensure a safe care environment for our patients and caregivers. Every visitor, colleague, caregiver, and physician is screened before entering our facilities, because protecting our patients starts with protecting our people.
- Cohorting respiratory patients and use of telemedicine. Patients with respiratory symptoms are cohorted from their first encounter in the ER or admission. Initial evaluation is conducted using telehealth technology to limit contact and conserve PPE. Patients that require hospitalization are treated in designated areas of the hospital so we can safely provide continuous care.
- Postponing elective surgeries and procedures. While essential and emergency procedures will continue, non-essential surgeries and procedures have been postponed to conserve resources and limit exposure, consistent with recommendations from the American College of Surgeons, the Surgeon General of the Unites States, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and CMS.
- Surge Planning. As we prepare for various scenarios, every one of our hospitals has a surge plan specific to that facility. We review and revise those plans based on what is currently happening within our community, what is projected to happen, as well as what we’re already seeing in communities that have experienced large COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Workforce Redeployment. As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, we anticipate our hospital volumes to increase, and we want to be prepared to shift physicians to support the care of these patients when necessary. We encourage physicians to join the workforce regardless of specialty, as we will potentially utilize those services in unconventional ways in times of crisis.
- Clean environments. As always, cleaning to prevent the spread of infection is occurring throughout all of our care sites.
As we navigate these unprecedented times, we are especially grateful for the doctors who lead and provide care to our patients. We are working tirelessly to support you in all efforts to care for our community. We are in this together.