This week Good Samaritan began reopening some services to the community
that had been previously put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The
reopening of services comes after Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed
an executive order on Monday, April 20th allowing hospitals to conduct clinically indicated procedures meant to
diagnose, screen and treat medical conditions that have the potential
for short-term or long-term morbidity and mortality, as long as sufficient
personal protective equipment, staff and other supplies are available
as to not detract from what is necessary and appropriate to care for and
treat patients who have or may have COVID-19.
Good Samaritan President & CEO, Rob McLin, said because in areas like
Knox County and southwest Indiana there has been a relatively low and
stable incidence of COVID-19, it is important that the hospital shows
flexibility in providing care for patients needing non-emergent, non-COVID-19
“There are people in our community who have ongoing health care needs
that are currently being deferred. The last thing we want to happen is
for our patients who need Good Samaritan to not seek care and let their
underlying health deteriorate,” McLin commented. “We don’t
want these patients to suffer when we are capable of getting them back
to better health. Every person in our community and the region we serve
should know they can, and should, feel comfortable and confident in seeking
treatment not only in emergency situations, but also to diagnose serious
conditions, address underlying chronic illness, relieve significant pain
and much more. That is what we are here for.”
McLin stated that safety for patients and staff remains the top priority
for Good Samaritan. The hospital will continue COVID-19 related processes
such as maintaining a no visitor policy, screenings at entrances, careful
usage of PPE (personal protective equipment), utilizing an alternate care
site for COVID-19 testing and dedicated units for COVID-19 hospitalized patients.
An additional measure being taken for those patients coming to the hospital
for same-day surgical procedures is a new screening entrance. These patients
will be directed to enter the hospital through the Same Day Surgery entrance.
After completing the health assessment screening, the patient will be
escorted to the Same Day Surgery floor for their procedure.
To start this slow reopening, McLin said schedules will be limited for
the first week and then will be re-evaluated each week for potential increase
of schedules or decreasing of schedules depending on supply utilization
and presence of COVID-19 in the community.
“Our diagnostic imaging and testing services such as cardiac testing,
MRI and lab will be limited to 50% of normal capacity to ensure social
distancing is maintained throughout patient care,” he stated. “Our
internal PPE team is working to ensure we have a reserve of stock PPE
to meet any COVID-19 resurgence as the community starts to reopen in a
phased approach. Along with PPE, we will maintain available bed capacity
and staffing to address a surge potential.”
Additional guidelines and protocols that will continue at Good Samaritan include:
- Visitor restrictions will continue to be a no visitor policy. Exceptions
include one visitor for: Outpatient surgery, inpatient surgery (before
surgery only), patients without mental capacity to answer questions or
make decisions, end-of-life discussions and visitations, pediatric patients,
laboring mother, and behavioral health at discharge for treatment plan.
- Screenings at entrances for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms will be ongoing
for outpatients entering the hospital.
- Patients with COVID-19 symptoms should continue to call the Good Samaritan
nurse triage line at 812-885-3331 or visit the Respiratory Drive-Thru
Triage Clinic at 1813 Willow Street in Vincennes.
- Video visits or telephone consults will be used for care whenever appropriate
for patients to limit the need for patients to leave their homes.
- Increased cleaning and disinfection will continue in patient and public areas.
- Outpatients should come to appointments alone, unless the patient is a
minor, has a disability or is mentally unable to communicate own needs.
In cases when a driver is necessary for the patient, that driver should
wait in their vehicle and will be notified by a phone call when the patient
is ready to leave.
Information about the coronavirus and the hospital’s current restrictions
can be found at gshvin.org/coronavirus.