Currently, the number of hospital admissions and emergency department visits are down, primarily due to previous messages from leaders and the media that have helped to direct concerned people to the appropriate provider setting and reduce unnecessary hospital volumes.
In addition, the projected peak of COVID-19 cases in Ohio is not expected for a few more weeks.
Planning for the possible surge in patients at the hospital began nearly a month ago and continues to evolve on a daily basis, Mary Rutan Hospital President and CEO Mandy Goble said.
“We are actively preparing for the increased presence of COVID-19 that is expected in our community. Every day, our team of leaders, physicians, infection prevention specialists and team members in every aspect of our healthcare system are working together to plan for various contingencies in the event of a surge of patients who need hospitalization.”
Beginning in mid-March, Mary Rutan Hospital enacted incident command structures to coordinate resources and direct actions for the entire organization concerning COVID-19.
Those duties include monitoring the pandemic; real-time review of staff availability, supplies and bed capacity; preparing to maximize surge capacity; and participating in planning efforts undertaken by local government and health officials.
Chad Ross, MRH chief operations officer, reported that areas within the hospital are being converted to provide additional capacity, if needed.
“Currently, within the hospital walls, we have the ability to double our normal inpatient volume,” he said.
Other measures to ensure Mary Rutan Hospital has adequate capacity to accommodate COVID-19 patients include rescheduling non-critical surgeries, procedures and appointments.
In addition, many of Mary Rutan Hospital’s offices and clinics are offering telemedicine, using doxy.me, a phone call or video chat. Telemedicine options have been in place since mid-March, with nearly 200 virtual appointments conducted in the past three days.
“All elective, non-emergent surgeries and procedures have been postponed to manage a potential increase in patient volume, conserve personal protective equipment and quite frankly to treat those patients in greatest need,” Ross said.
“The safety of our team members and patients is our top priority. Without proper supplies, healthcare workers everywhere are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. We’ve been reaching out to suppliers and have worked since the pandemic emerged to maximize the availability of the necessary equipment.”
In addition, donated supplies are coming from local businesses and individuals. Donations of new masks, gloves, face shields, gowns and hand sanitizer have been provided to help support the area’s first responders and healthcare professionals.
Items can be dropped off at MRH’s Logan View location, 110 Dowell Avenue in Bellefontaine between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Continued support to help address the needs within our community is requested, hospital officials said.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, Mary Rutan Hospital is maintaining continuous contact with state and county health departments, emergency management officials and community organizations that are working together to help minimize the spread of the virus.
“I am proud to say that our community has the support of highly capable, dedicated and focused teams at Mary Rutan Hospital, and going forward, I am confident that our preparations will help us face the demands of COVID-19,” Goble said.
If you seek further information and the latest updates, visit www.maryrutan.org/coronavirusinfo.