Good Samaritan Coronavirus Response Update 3/25/20

Good Samaritan is continuing its fight against COVID-19. One of the latest efforts includes opening a Suspected Respiratory Illness Drive-Thru Triage Clinic at the Convenient Care Clinic building at 1813 Willow Street.

This drive-thru style clinic is only for patients with upper respiratory heath concerns, especially those with COVID-19 symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Patients who wish to seek care at the clinic are asked to call Good Samaritan’s nurse triage line at 812-885-3331 before arriving at the clinic. The hours of the drive-thru triage are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Patients with non-respiratory acute care health concerns, who would have normally visited the Convenient Care Clinic, are being redirected to a walk-in clinic within the Medical Center of Vincennes, 406 N. First Street, Vincennes. The hours for this temporary walk-in clinic are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adam Thacker, Chief Operating Officer at Good Samaritan, said the respiratory clinic was opened in an effort to limit the spread of respiratory illness. “We needed to have a central location for only respiratory patients to be screened to avoid spreading illness to patients who need treatment for non-respiratory issues,” he said. “We moved the acute care patients to MCV to accommodate those patients, and to ensure that they felt safe seeking the treatment they need.”

In another effort to protect patients at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, Good Samaritan has moved its Anticoagulation (Coumadin) Clinic to the Welch Diabetes Education Center, located at 615 Dubois Street. This location will allow the clinics’ patients to access care without the need to enter the hospital.

Another new protocol put into place this week at Good Samaritan, is a triage tent outside of the Emergency Department. All emergency department patients will be triaged in the tent before entering the hospital. This effort will help nursing staff to identify patients who could be treated or possibly tested at the respiratory clinic.

Samaritan Center has also implemented virtual visits with behavioral health patients. Kristi Scherer, Executive Director of Samaritan Center, said patients are being called and rescheduled with video visits. “Most of our clients will be seen by our providers through the Zoom video conferencing app,” she stated. “The client will need to download the Zoom app on their phone or device and they will be given a meeting number to join for their appointment. This service is going to allow us to continue to meet the mental health needs of our community.”

Rob McLin, President and CEO of Good Samaritan, said while this is a trying time for the hospital, he is extremely proud of the staff and their commitment to our patients. “Our staff is showing up every day during this crazy time, ready to provide care to our patients,” he said. “Our incident command team is working endless hours to prepare for and get in front of this potential patient surge we could receive soon. It is amazing how quickly our team has worked to get procedures in place to combat this virus.”

Something that has helped Good Samaritan, McLin says, is the outpouring of support from the community. “We have had many businesses and individuals come to us offering to help in whatever way they can and even donate supplies,” McLin said. “We’ve had N95 masks, surgical masks, hospital beds, surgical gowns, and many other supply items donated. We’ve had several groups of people sewing masks for us if the need arises, and we’ve even had man power support. We can’t thank these individuals enough. We are keeping a list of all donated items and will be doing appropriate recognition to them all at a later date.”

McLin added that the hospital participates in at least three disaster drills each year to prepare for situations such as this. “Our ongoing training and planning for every kind of disaster has definitely helped us to stay on top of this situation,” he said. “Overall, I am thankful that through all of this we are still being able to meet the health care needs of our community.”

For those in the community who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, McLin says to utilize the nurse triage line to seek advice on the appropriate level of care you should seek. That number is 812-885-3331. You can also visit gshvin.org/coronavirus for more information.

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