How We're Keeping You Safe When You Seek Care, Plus Everyday Tips for Minimizing COVID-19 Risk
Time matters when it comes to seeking care for critical conditions. Don't let fears of coronavirus prevent you from calling 911 immediately for time-sensitive conditions. Learn how Cone Health is keeping you safe while you seek care in this week's 2 Your Well-Being discussion with Cone Health Chief Operating Officer Mary Jo Cagle, MD; Cone Health medical director, emergency providers Kevin Steinl, MD; and WFMY News 2.
What is Cone Health doing to keep patients and staff safe?
Steinl: “Great question. I think there's probably many factors that have contributed. First, I'd like to thank our community for playing their role in keeping our community and our hospitals safe. But one of the unique things we have here at Cone Health is that we've been able to cohort - for the most part - the vast majority of our patients that are COVID-19 positive patients at our Green Valley campus. [That campus] is an entire, separate medical center off of Green Valley. Essentially what that means is we've been able to create multiple campuses, multiple hospitals that are essentially COVID-19 free. So, to our patients, to our community, I would have no hesitation about seeking care, emergency care, at any of our facilities. You are safe. Safety is an integral part of our mission at Cone Health - patient, community health and safety, frankly, is why we're here. No hesitation in telling the community they're safe seeking care. We've ramped up all of our safety measures that were in place before, everything from universal precautions to more advanced precautions. We're trying to keep our waiting rooms empty, we're trying to decrease wait times, and all of those things to keep our patients safe.
What can community members do to enhance their safety as we continue through this pandemic?
Cagle: “So, again, look for ways to practice social distancing - whether you're going to your favorite restaurant or store and making certain that the volumes are low, spacing and waiting outside, [keeping] space between, and wearing a mask. Or if [you are] getting health care, use the screening that we have and do virtual visits before coming in-person, because that will shorten your wait time, and as Doctor Steinl said, keep you out of the waiting room. So you basically can have walk-up service and be in-and-out quickly.
“I think health care is finally getting to where many other services have been for a long time, where you can do that screening, get that appointment, not have to wait and be in-and-out. So using those services that way enhances your safety.
“Washing your hands! You know, I had a friend say, ‘I'm finally doing something where I sing the happy birthday song twice while I'm washing my hands, getting in between my fingers and in my nail beds’ - those things are really important and they keep us safe.”
What should people do if they’re experiencing a medical emergency?
Steinl: “I think the take-home message is we don't want people putting off their emergencies. So, if you have an emergency in the realm of you're actively bleeding, you're having a heart attack or having a stroke or symptoms consistent with that, you're going to want to call 911 just like before, and get here as quick as possible. For all other emergencies that maybe aren't of that same time-urgency, coming by your private vehicle is certainly your next best option.”