Officials team up for statewide effort to encourage communities to not put their health care on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic
VANCOUVER — PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center has teamed up with more than 100 hospitals across the state to urge communities not to put their health care on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clinics across the state have reported abnormally low volumes of patients seeking routine medical care. At the same time, visitors to the emergency department are arriving with more severe illness, having delayed care. The educational campaign is aimed at addressing the concerns keeping people from seeking appropriate care.
“We’ve heard that patients are afraid of contracting COVID from other patients in the hospital or that care teams won’t have time to care for them if it isn’t COVID-related,” Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) President & CEO Cassie Sauer said. “Health care teams are taking steps to ensure people’s safety when they need to seek care – from screening to eliminating waiting rooms. Care is safe and available for you and your family. Please, don’t let your health become an emergency.”
“We want to reassure the public that our hospital and our clinics are safe, and we continue to take extra precautions as we are mindful of the community’s concerns,” said Lawrence Neville, MD, chief Medical & Safety officer for PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. “We absolutely do not want people delaying needed care. We have seen delays in care resulting in poor outcomes that were preventable.”
PeaceHealth has taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of our patients, including:
- Use of masks or other personal protective equipment by all caregivers and physicians.
- Pre-screening before appointments, with temperature and symptom checks for anyone visiting our locations in-person.
- Anyone arriving at our locations must wear a mask or cloth face covering; most visitors are not permitted.
- New seating arrangements, signs, and other means to support safe physical distancing.
- Cleaning and sanitizing all spaces consistent with PeaceHealth’s strict medical standards.
- Special isolation units for patients with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms, with dedicated staff.
- Every patient who is admitted to the hospital or is undergoing surgery or an invasive procedure is tested for COVID-19.
Hospitals and health systems will continue building awareness surrounding this issue for the next several weeks as part of their response to COVID-19. Visit peacehealth.org/coronavirus to read the latest news at PeaceHealth, as well as helpful education and prevention resources related to COVID-19.