NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire – among the 12 states now reporting coronavirus in the United States. There is indeed heightened awareness and hospitals across Connecticut are ready to take covid-19 head-on.
Hospitals in Connecticut are in emergency preparedness mode with the outbreak of coronavirus.
Most have negative pressure rooms, ready to evaluate patients after getting screened.
“We set it so the pressure inside the room, changes the air pressure out of the vents so that the air will not escape the room when the door is opened and closed,” says Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Alise Frallicciardi at UConn Health. “All of the staff seeing the patient would be in their personal protective equipment and the patient would have their own mask as well. Infectious disease doctors would come in to the hospital and speak to the patients at length to find out their real risk of coronavirus.”
At Yale New Haven Hospital, among the busiest ED’s in the country, the focus is also on utilizing tele-medicine for patients with mild symptoms.
Dr. Richard Martinello, Infection Prevention Medical Director for Yale New Haven Health, says
“it allows for providers/clinicians to interact with patients through a video chat in real-time.”
That’s done through video on demand on the online patient medical records system — My Chart.
Dr. Martinello expects CDC testing guidelines to change as covid-19 evolves. That he says, could lead to a surge of people requiring hospital care, so looking into expanding patient capacity is on the emergency management plan list.
At Hartford HealthCare –
“This part of the simulation center here, this is where we train our providers and doctors and nurses as to how to get ready to enter the isolation room here,” says Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief Clinical Officer.
He goes onto say heightened awareness now includes another strategy to stay ahead of the threat.
“This is a different way of preparing that we think about logistics, transports, think about where the patient needs to be placed for the right level of care, how our access points are secured in the sense of appropriate screening criteria and methods in place.”
And happening now — tracking travel of health care personnel.
Dr. Kumar says, “if they were in Milan, then we are asking the question, what your track was and how you traveled, what airport you took and after that, making decisions, the area of Lombardy and some of the areas that are hot spots, we are restricting the individuals from coming back to work at the moment.”
What can you do to facilitate what hospitals are focused on doing?
All three doctors say if you have mild symptoms, call your primary care physician and follow recommendations before you head to the emergency department.
That’s so the ED staff can focus on critically ill patients.