Like other hospitals in Northeast Ohio and around the country, Lake Health has been busy preparing for increases in the number of COVID-19 patients. The planning started months ago in collaboration with state, regional and county partners.
"We can’t wait and see if more cases will happen," said Cynthia Moore-Hardy, FACHE, president and CEO of Lake Health. "We need to prepare now so that we can be ready to care for our friends, neighbors and loved ones when they need it most.”
Keeping our community safe
Since the outbreak, Lake Health has taken the following steps to keep our community safe from infection:
Emergency Plan. Our COVID-19 Task Force has created an emergency plan on how to respond to COVID-19 here in Lake County and the surrounding communities. The plan includes expanding our capacity to handle and treat more patients on site at our three acute care hospitals.
Collaboration. We regularly communicate with the Lake County General Health District, Lake County Emergency Management Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio Department of Health, Ohio National Guard and other health care systems to share information and resources.
Special Treatment Areas. We created special medical teams and specific units to treat COVID-19 patients. We have also created a "split-flow" process of providing emergency medical care to our patients. This means that a patient who has symptoms of COVID-19 upon entering are immediately separated from others. We then attend to the needs of that patient in a dedicated area away from other patient populations. Included in these triage areas is a special Triage Tent erected outside of our West Medical Center Emergency Department.
Supply Plans. In anticipation of supply shortages across the United States, preparations began early on at our hospitals to secure needed supplies. Every day we have teams working through alternate supply chain options and finding ways to get needed supplies to our hospitals and front line workers.
New Technology. In order to prepare for shortages of precious N95 respirators during increases in the number of COVID-19 patients, Lake Health has started to use new technology to re-use and sterilize N95 respirators to help extend our supplies.
New Visitor Guidelines. To keep our patients, visitors and team members healthy and safe, we have implemented new patient visitation guidelines. These guidelines are updated as the situation warrants.
Screening Team Members and Visitors. In order to protect our patients, team members and visitors, we are screening everyone who enters our facilities with temperature checks.
Community Support. The outpouring of community support with donations of supplies, food and monetary donations has been nothing short of amazing.
“I just want to thank all of our team members and, especially our medical staff, for coming together to help us prepare for the challenges every hospital is facing with COVID-19,” said Moore-Hardy. “Their dedication and compassion is the driving force behind everything we do to protect our patients, staff and community during this unprecedented time.”