CORONAVIRUS: First COVID-19 Community Briefing highlights NRH plans to meet increased demand, reduce staff risk of infection Featured

CORONAVIRUS: First COVID-19 Community Briefing highlights NRH plans to meet increased demand, reduce staff risk of infection KVOE News file photo

Newman Regional Health is preparing for a potential spike of coronavirus cases, and those plans involve several different measures.


That was the message heard throughout the first KVOE-Newman Regional Health COVID-19 Community Briefing on our airwaves Friday morning. Hospital Chief Executive Officer Bob Wright says Newman Regional Health is "uniquely" qualified to handle an increase in demand.

Wright says his main concern is less with bed space and more with staff health. If a caseload surge develops as expected, there is enough personnel to handle over 50 inpatients as a whole and the current number of emergency room beds could double or even triple. Staff depletion is inevitable, but Wright says certain steps will help to offset much of that if needed.



Newman Regional Health has already taken several steps to limit the spread of the virus at the hospital, including patient visitation restrictions, limiting traffic to the east entrance, starting a Respiratory Clinic and, as of Friday morning, temporarily halting some non-essential services:

*Cardiac Rehab
*Pulmonary function tests
*Diabetes education and rehab
*Nutritional screening and assessments
*Sleep studies
*Orthopedic injections
*Pain Clinic
*All support groups

Other services, meanwhile, will continue at provider discretion:

*Mammography
*Nuclear testing
*Stress tests
*Outpatient Infusion Clinic
*Wound Care
*Cardiovascular lab
*Operating

Newman Regional Health Medical partners also announced it is canceling non-urgent family medicine and pediatrics appointments effective through April 3. 

Staff recently have also been taking temperature screenings and those needing N95 masks have been fit-tested to avoid exposure.

Wright says the hospital has tested about five patients a day, and that number will climb with all patients at the Respiratory Clinic getting tests. One patient has been admitted for coronavirus and has since been transferred to a Topeka hospital. Further details are pending.

The hour-long program debuted on 14 KVOE, 96.9 FM and KVOE-TV at KVOE.com. The COVID-19 Community Briefings will air at 10:06 am Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the current coronavirus pandemic, featuring Wright and members of the Newman Regional Health Incident Command Team.

If you missed the program, go to the KVOE.com Audio Vault or www.newmanrh.org

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