How hospital emergency rooms are adapting patient care during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut hospital emergency rooms are finding new ways to safely treat patients and keep healthcare workers safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

At Hartford Healthcare’s Hartford Hospital they have made changes that includes having the medical staff practice social distancing according to Audrey Scott, Hartford Hospital’s Emergency Room Assistant Nurse Manager.

“We’ve really had to be mindful of how many people are in the room at once, both for social-distancing and for being mindful of our PPE use,” says Scott.

Scott says their PPE supply is good at the moment, but in order to conserve what they have, they have started a new program. It’s called “Pause for PPE” and it evaluates who needs to be at the bedside when a patient first comes in to the ER, requiring some to wait outside.

Another big change is re-configuring the ER entrance and check-in process.

“We’re ensuring that our most experienced nurses are working out there to screen patients and make sure that we can make decisions based on where the best place to treat them is, whether we suspect them to have COVID or not so we can make sure we’re putting people in the most appropriate places in the emergency department, and we do have space for everybody,” Scott adds.

She also says they are prepared for an expected influx of COVID-19 patients. Other hospitals in the area have set up a field hospital outside for the overflow. No word yet if Hartford Hospital will do the same.

WEB EXTRA: Stories From the ER: Audrey Scott RN, BSN, CEN, Assistant Nurse Manager at Hartford Hospital Emergency Department gives News 8 a sense of what is it like on the front lines of the outbreak.

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