Over the past month, Memorial Healthcare has implemented numerous new processes, procedures, specialized facilities and resource contingency plans to address our community’s ongoing fight against the COVID-19 health crisis.
From increasing our inpatient and critical care capacity and critical care staffing to aggressively pursuing personal protect equipment and developing our own decontamination processes, Memorial Healthcare stands ready to protect and care for its staff and the communities we serve.
“We are closely watching in solidarity and admiration what our healthcare colleagues on the front lines are up against in Southeast Michigan this week, and it is becoming more and more clear that no system can reasonably feel prepared,” said Brian Long, FACHE, President/CEO of Memorial Healthcare. “At the same time, I’m in awe of our own heroes right here in Owosso and the ingenuity, empathy, vigilance and bravery they have already demonstrated.”
As of April 9, here is an overview of the efforts Memorial Healthcare has made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a summary of the ongoing challenges we face as a care provider.
- Status of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and planning: Memorial Healthcare is aggressively pursuing acquisition of personal protection equipment (PPE) to ensure the continued safety of our healthcare workers. We have implemented a proactive PPE strategy that consists of five components:
- Aggressive procurement
- Strict inventory management
- Prioritized distribution
- Alternative utilization tactics
- Research and development of PPE innovations
Memorial Healthcare continues to source PPE through our conventional routes. Additionally, due to current critical shortages, we are actively exploring unconventional and innovative routes.
We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from our community in providing handmade masks and caps. Several local and state industrial companies are also offering to help meet our PPE needs. We are learning from other institutions regarding PPE usage and conservation efforts as well as developing our own decontamination processes to extend the safe utilization of protective equipment.
Even with these aggressive PPE acquisition strategies, having an adequate supply of PPE to ensure the safety of our healthcare workers remains a strong concern.
- In-house COVID-19 testing: On March 27, Memorial Healthcare implemented in-house COVID-19 testing procedures to deliver accelerated test results for patients within 48 hours. Prior to March 27, swab tests conducted at Memorial Healthcare facilities required transport to an offsite location for processing, which resulted in delayed test results for residents. Memorial Healthcare has collected a total of 660 patients for COVID-19, which includes both in-house and off-site testing facilities.
- Designated Alternate Care Site: On March 15, Memorial Healthcare Incident Command opened the Alternate Care Site (ACS), a triage facility dedicated to diagnosing and treating patients experiencing moderate flu-like symptoms and other indicators of COVID-19. Located in the auditorium of our main campus, the ACS was established to prevent and contain the risk of contamination among our staff, our patients and our community. Since launch, the ACS provided care to more than 1,050 patients.
- Designated Acute Respiratory Care Floor: On March 18, Memorial Healthcare opened an Acute Respiratory Care Floor to provide a safe and contained treatment area for patients suspected and confirmed for COVID-19. This floor stands ready to receive an influx of patients requiring urgent and critical COVID-19 care.
- Expanded telemedicine services: On March 24, Memorial Healthcare expanded its telehealth capabilities to provide consultations for non-COVID related health issues, increasing safety for patients and staff. Patients are able to complete many necessary appointments via phone and video conferencing. Since expanding our telemedicine services, Memorial Healthcare has provided nearly 3,400 consultations via connected platforms.
Please be assured that Memorial Healthcare has done, and continues to do, everything in its power to prepare for the enormous challenge presented with the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to work closely with the Shiawassee County Health Department and follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Michigan Department for Health and Human Services.
Our community’s best defense from COVID-19 is for every resident to follow, as strictly as possible, the social distancing guidelines in place.