Claremore Hillcrest has seen an increase in hospitalizations for severe illnesses, including COVID-19, over the last month, CEO Dave Chaussard said.
“We are licensed for 49 beds, and although it is changing continuously, we do have a few beds available at this time,” Chaussard said. “We have had to go on divert due to being at capacity on a few occasions and Tulsa metro facilities are near capacity.”
Hillcrest Claremore has adjusted to the added strain by increasing their capacity of negative air flow rooms and creating a specific unit to handle COVID positive patients.
“Due to the increase of COVID-19 in the community, we have moved back to limiting visitors to help protect our patients. Currently we only allow visitors for labor and delivery, minors and special circumstances, such as end-of-life care and those adult patients who require assistance from a caregiver,” Chaussard said.
If COVID numbers continue to increase, Chaussard said, “We have a detailed plan in place that will be implemented in phases based on specific volumes. We have also made some internal modifications to be able to expand into other areas if needed.” “At the same time, we want patients to be aware of the protocols and procedures that are in place to ensure their safety is our top priority. Everyone who enters our hospital, from employees to patients, answers a pre-screening questionnaire and has their temperature checked,” Chaussard said. “We have separate areas within the hospital for treatment of non-COVID and COVID-19 patients. Hand sanitizing stations are available and we limit the amount of traffic in elevators. We follow social distancing guidelines and wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Everyone who enters the hospital receives a mask.”
Chaussard said the hospital is currently fully-stocked with the supplies they need to handle current and future cases.
“But due to the high demand for supplies nationally, this could change if the increase of COVID-19 cases continues to grow,” Chaussard said. “We highly encourage the public to wear a mask while out in public or where social distancing isn’t possible. It is effective in slowing the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask and distancing, along with good hand hygiene, by the public, are critical to help decrease COVID-19 numbers.”