Coronavirus Update: April 29, 2020

Apologies for the delay since my last update – If you have not had a chance to view the latest video update, you may find it and prior updates, at the following link:

https://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/coronavirus/

The entire state of Indiana awaits the update from the Governor on Friday in relation to the “stay at home” order with many hoping there will be a complete return to “normal”.  Fortunately, the Governor has made it clear that, while there will be strides made toward reaching a “new normal”, we cannot entirely end the social (physical) distancing we have been practicing for the last several weeks.  Because we have no effective treatments, a vaccine is still 12 – 18 months away, and testing is not yet at the needed levels, social distancing as a personal choice remains the best safeguard any of us can have.  Following is a short 45 second video that illustrates the impact “creating a little space” can have:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4PnSYAqQHU

If you are interested in learning more about the history of this disease, and similar pandemics in the past, I encourage you to watch “Coronavirus, Explained” on Netflix, or read the fascinating article at the following link:

https://apple.news/AZZF_UuP4S_qBJky1eHsh8g

Finally, at Hancock Health we continue our COVID-related operations as noted below but are also working toward expanding access to our services for non-COVID patients as well. Elective surgeries will begin ramping up again next week but we do not foresee achieving pre-COVID levels for the foreseeable future.  As we continue to restore our depleted inventories of PPE and other medical supplies, we will ramp other services back up in a safe and effective manner. During this time period it is likely our patience will experience “glitches” in the process, so please take the opportunity to elicit their feedback on how we can improve – the “new normal” is new to all of us.

  •  The Hancock Triage Clinic, Hancock COVID Triage hotline (317-325-2683 (COVD), and nurse@hancockregional.org email lines continue to provide needed service to the community during this time.   We have received more than 1,500 calls to the Triage line and average 10 – 15 patients per day in the Clinic.
  • Remember, the Hancock Physician Network offices remain open, though most of the visits are virtual (telephonic or video-based), so if you need to see your doctor, please call their office.
  • Work to retrofit the Reflections unit to our first COVID unit is complete.  Because we anticipate the need to keep this unit in operations until the national public health emergency is ended (likely when a vaccine is in place), we have made the difficult decision to permanently cease operations of the Geropsychiatric unit that was located in this space previously.
  • The second floor of the Gateway facility has been converted for use as a 50 bed expansion unit in case we need it (and we pray we do not).  Though we intend to leave this surge facility in place for the duration of the public health emergency, it will have no impact on the other services provided at Gateway (low-cost, high-quality imaging, lab and immediate care).
  • The end of in-person patient visitation has gone well and we have used the e-visitation system to great effect a few times.  We have revised the policy in relation to deaths and births (one visitor allowed in these situations).  Learn more on e-visitation at https://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/2020/03/friends-or-family-in-the-hospital-e-visit/
  • We are blessed to be finding new avenues to obtain additional PPE and for a very generous community as well who are finding and bringing in additional supplies.  Should you know folks in the community who would like to participate, please have them contact Nancy Davis at ndavis@hancockregional.org.
  • We have developed a temporary transportation team and a food delivery team to help our patients receive food items and make it to their health care appointments while other transportation options are closed.  If you have patients that need transportation or food assistance, please contact Amanda Everidge at Aeveridge@hancockregional.org.
  • We have made arrangements with Fairfield Inn to house hospital associates and medical staff, as well as first-responders in the community, who need temporary housing if they are concerned about carrying the virus home with them.  Our efforts are being coordinated by Gretchen Pike and Amanda Everidge and Hancock Health is covering the cost of these rooms and additional information.  Please contact Amanda at Aeveridge@hancockregional.org for more information.
  • Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God for the victory – Proverbs 21:31

All the Best,
Steve