SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Coosa Valley Medical Center has gone above and beyond to ensure patient safety inside of the hospital as it has resumed elective surgical procedures, and encourages those that need to visit the emergency the room to do so.
While COVID-19 has been a cause for concern, you may have more to fear than the Coronavirus if you are ignoring key health signals such as chest pain and stroke symptoms.
“Our message to the community is ‘We are here to serve you, so please do not sit at home with symptoms of chest pain or stroke, because you are afraid of the emergency department’,” said CVMC Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer Amy Price.
Early detection is paramount in many health emergencies. Morality rates drop significantly when illness is caught early. If people are delaying a visit to the emergency department, things could quickly get worse. “People are likely to increase the risk of mortality of such related events by putting it off,” said Price.
“Our staff is prepared. We care about our community, and we want the best for them,” said Chief Business Development Officer Vanessa Green.
CVMC ensures the emergency department is clean, and after viewing the precautions taken, it would be tough to argue that point. Rigorous screening processes have been put in place as normal procedure at entry ways, ensuring those with respiratory illness do not encounter the general population. Sick patients are not mixed with healed patients, and while hospitals have always been extensively cleaned, they are now more than ever.
“We are not just taking measures with COVID-19 patients, but all patients,” Price explained. “Our patients are now more protected than ever.”
“We are not inundated with Coronavirus cases here in Talladega Co., so now its time to get back to servicing other health needs while being cautious about the Coronavirus,” said Green. “We need to make sure people are looking at their overall health issues. My fear is that people are only focused on the Coronavirus, and not paying attention to other health issues.”
Green is correct. Talladega Co. is not even close to being a Coronavirus hotspot. The county’s case numbers dwarf in comparison to many counties in the state. Overall, Talladega Co. has not even reached 70 total cases.
Hospital staff is also more protected, leading to patient safety. Personal protective Equipment is protocol for staff and healthcare workers. Masks, head covers, shoe covers, gowns, gloves and more all protect healthcare providers from coming into contact with the patients.
“That is happening throughout the hospital, not just the emergency department,” said Green. “Anyone putting off any healthcare need, whether its a routine screening or an emergency department visit, should feel secure at CVMC. We are taking every precaution. Putting off a health screening today may not be a big deal now, but down the road there could be issues.”
Price and Green admit fear of not knowing what to expect when entering the emergency department could be the biggest fear of all. But here is what you can expect.
- At this time there are no visitors allowed with the patient, but a health care professional will be by your side.
- You will met by a triage nurse, which is a nurse that specializes in assessing patients and their level of need.
- Depending on the volume in the ER, you will be taken back or placed in the waiting room for a few short minutes before called.
Simply put by Price, “Being in the emergency room is much safer than staying home with a health emergency and getting worse. If you’re crowding into a retail store, you should not be afraid of Coosa Valley Medical Center.”
Elective surgical procedures are also being resumed at CVMC, but the pre-screening processes have changed. The pre-admission process, that normally would be completed at the hospital, will be done over the phone. Entering and exiting the building will also change. Surgical patients will enter through the side ER door with signs that tell them where to go.
Resuming elective procedures is becoming more common in hospitals across the nation, especially rural hospitals with very few COVID-19 cases. Many smaller hospitals in Texas similar to CVMC have resumed surgeries under their Governor’s new orders.
Hospitals halted elective procedures, fearing overcrowding would cause chaos, and cause shortages in much needed medical supplies. Sure, some hospitals across the nation have experienced that. Coosa Valley Medical Center, however, has not.
“We have had a case or two, but we’ve never had more than two cases at the hospital at one time,” said Price.
The message from Coosa Valley Medical Center to its community is clear – the hospital is clean, safe and open for you.
You can learn more about CVMC at cvhealth.net.