Sanford Luverne responds to Star Herald Q&A
What are Sanford Luverne’s resources in terms of bracing for local cases?
Sanford Luverne, as well as Sanford Health, has been working to prepare for COVID-19 for several months. This is one of the advantages of being part of a larger health system. We are able to share knowledge and resources with more than 40 other hospitals to best serve our patients and community. Our local team has been discussing the best way to handle patients and ensure everyone stays safe during their care. This includes the clinic, hospital, hospice, and ambulance.
Are we able to stock up on more equipment to be better prepared when our local population is sick enough to need hospitalization?
Sanford Luverne has been working to access resources to care for the local population. We are experiencing some of the same challenges with supply chains that other health care systems across the world are experiencing, but we continue working to access additional supplies and ensure our staff have what they need.
Currently we are looking at ways to conserve the personal protective equipment that we have to ensure it’s available.
Is there a plan in place for a potential deluge?
Yes, our teams have been working for months on plans to care for a surge of patients. We have discussed alternative care locations within the facility as well as with our system partners to ensure we are able to care for patients. As part of Sanford Health, we have access to resources and care options for patients throughout our footprint. We also coordinate with other health care systems and the department of health to plan for a surge of patients in our region.
How will we protect our non-coronavirus patients like maternity or other?
We are continuously evaluating our procedures, based on new information from the CDC. To date, we have implemented screening procedures for all patients and visitors and implemented a one-visitor-per-patient policy in our facilities. Our OB unit has them designate which person will be their one support person, and that is the only one allowed with them.
This is to help slow the spread of the virus and protect both the public and our patients and staff members. Our visitors are all screened upon entry and designate which person/room they are visiting. We are continually monitoring to ensure only one visitor. At the hospice cottage, since this is end of life, we have not restricted to one visitor but we are screening all visitors that enter, asking that all visits occur in the patient room, and that those in the room are mindful of the 6-foot social distancing from each other.
In order to continue with well child check-ups, follow-up visits and visits to manage chronic conditions, the providers at Sanford Luverne are transitioning many of these visits to a video visit so that they can be done at the patient’s home. As patients call the clinic to schedule, the phone staff will help set these visits up as it must be done by calling the clinic to ensure that the patient gets the visit with their primary care provider.
We have implemented a separate waiting area for anyone masked to prevent waiting in the same area. If someone does have a possible Covid-19, we are asking that they call ahead, are taking them through a different entrance to the clinic, and are rooming them right away in designated rooms in order to prevent spread.
We are ensuring urgent and essential procedures and diagnostic tests continue, but we are limiting others to conserve our personal protective equipment to potentially care for a surge of critical patients as this pandemic continues.