An ER visit could save your health or life. Don't avoid hospitals during COVID pandemic.

Internet US 2020-08-01 11:59:30

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights a very worrisome trend in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: Increasingly, people are not seeking emergency and potentially lifesaving care.

During the first five months of this year, the number of visits to emergency departments for life-threatening illnesses has declined by 42%. It appears that fear of COVID-19 is causing patients to avoid getting urgent care, even for life-threatening events like strokes and heart attacks.

This statistic is alarming. Patients should seek emergency care when it is needed and get to the hospital in a timely fashion. Not only is it the right and safe thing to do, it’s also essential to preventing or limiting serious complications. Patient safety has always been the No. 1 priority for hospitals and health care providers, and COVID-19 has not changed this. In fact, the safety protocols put into place for patients, families, care providers and staff since the pandemic’s onset are more rigorous than ever.

Extra safety precautions during COVID-19 

With guidance and assistance from public health experts, hospitals quickly enhanced our already intensive patient safety efforts to further protect all patients while in our care. These extra precautions have included entry-point COVID-19 screenings; social distancing and mask use while indoors; visitor restrictions; limited entry and exit points; asking patients to stay in their cars after arrival until called into the office; and using virtual care when it is available and appropriate.

Your hospital is safe and ready to care for you.

An ER visit could save your health or life. Don't avoid hospitals during COVID pandemic.

Hospitals and health systems are safe places to seek care, no matter what your health need. Let me be clear: An emphasis on patient safety and infection prevention permeates every facility and is core to the mission of all hospitals — to be available always, and provide high quality care to all those in need.

Just like in hospitals and clinics nationwide, our team at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City understands that everyone has a role in infection prevention, and we strive to pass that knowledge on to our patients and visitors. Everyone is screened before walking through any hospital’s door, and caregivers are regularly trained and retrained on proper infection control practices. In addition, hospitals are creating COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas of the hospital, taking extra steps to ensure every patient will be protected.

Doctors:We're worried hospital COVID-19 data no longer goes to the apolitical CDC

Maintenance staff are working tirelessly to carry out intensive deep-cleaning processes. And since the best patient care comes from healthy care providers, testing is essential. Doctors, nurses and the entire health care workforce are tested for the virus and get their temperatures checked before every shift. They also have access to many new behavioral health services and programs to help keep them well — not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

Unwarranted COVID-19 fears 

Our health care field has benefited from numerous innovations and advances through the years that have improved our ability to treat infectious disease and prevent transmission to others. Looking to the past, care providers have successfully treated patients with many different communicable diseases and viruses, such as measles, diphtheria, hepatitis, polio, tetanus and whooping cough, to name just a few. These treatments did not endanger the safety of fellow patients hospitalized for other reasons.

We know how to do this. Hospitals safely care for patients who have communicable diseases, and we manage infectious disease every day. While COVID-19 brings its own characteristics and challenges, it’s important to keep in mind that hospitals and health systems practice strong infectious disease prevention protocols. Because of that, we can and will continue to provide safe, effective, patient-centered care in our facilities.

My prescription: One mask. Eight weeks. That's it.

Emergencies don’t stop, and neither do we. We urge you, please don’t delay emergency care … for heart attacks, strokes, falls or any other urgent need. Right now, a hospital’s emergency department is among the safest places you can step into anywhere. If you need care, please don’t allow unwarranted fear of COVID-19 to prevent you from getting the medical attention you need and deserve.

Hospitals and health systems are open, safe and always ready to care.

Dr. Melinda L. Estes, chair of the American Hospital Association board, is president and CEO of Saint Luke's Health System in Kansas City, Missouri.

An ER visit could save your health or life. Don't avoid hospitals during COVID pandemic.

Tips

If the information we provide is valuable, please share it wonderfully with your friends. Thank you!

精彩分享:

扫一扫在手机阅读、精彩分享本文