Most of us have heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The saying, by ancient Greek philosopher Plato, is used to describe how a need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet that need or to solve an immediate problem.
While we may have heard this phrase throughout our lifetimes, we can now say we’re living it.
Adena Health System has spent the past month or more preparing for how we can effectively provide patient care during a pandemic. Our teams have been innovative in creating solutions for how we manage those COVID-19 cases, while still meeting the health care needs of people in our region. Projects that might have taken months to research, plan and execute in normal times have become reality in just days or weeks, due to an intense and immediate need.
Innovation is about solving a problem. Here are just a few of the amazing examples of innovation completed in a short amount of time to meet the needs of our communities related to coronavirus:
· Created a COVID-19 hotline (740-542-SAFE) to begin the screening process;
· Established the COVID-19 Testing Center on the ARMC campus;
· Converted inpatient units at ARMC into a COVID-19 Cohort Units to care for patients suspected of and confirmed with the virus. The conversion included adapting the HVAC system to create negative air flow to remove contaminated air from each room of the units, and protecting others throughout the hospital; and
· Launched a respiratory triage facility within the PACCAR Medical Education Center, to relieve pressure on our emergency department and staff in the days and weeks ahead.
We also recognize that even during a pandemic, people still have regular health care needs. Adena and others are doing what we can to enable people to stay safely at home, while still receiving general and some specialty care. Teams have come together to launch innovative options that are meeting the needs of many of our patients, and physicians and APPs.
A telehealth option has been launched. Using a landline for a voice visit, or a computer or Smartphone for a virtual visit, the patient can speak with their provider from the comfort and safety of home. This option has been quickly adopted; with more than 4,820 telehealth visits completed in the past week (April 1-8).
Those in need of lab work also have a convenient and safe option to have blood drawn outside of a clinic or hospital setting. Drive up lab draw stations have been set up where anyone with a lab order may drive up, register by phone, and have their blood drawn while never leaving their vehicle. Temporary drive-up lab stations are set up at Adena Health Center – Western Avenue; Adena Cancer Center; Adena Health Center – Jackson; and Adena Health Center – Waverly. Since opening the first drive up lab draw station on March 27, more than 655 patients have used this convenient service at these four locations.
To keep patients out of ERs and urgent care settings, where they could easily encounter patients with COVID-19 symptoms, Adena Bone and Joint Center has launched four temporary walk-in orthopedic injury clinics across the region. The clinics are giving people an option to have sprains, fractures and other orthopedic injuries assessed and treated as safely as possible. The clinics are located at the Adena Health Pavilion in Chillicothe; Fayette County Memorial Hospital Medical Office Building in Washington C.H.; Adena Health Center – Jackson; and Adena Health Center – Waverly.
In today’s health care climate and always, when it comes to taking care of our patients, our communities and our people, Adena’s caregivers are leading the way.
For more about Adena Health System and its services, visit adena.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @adenamedical. For COVID-19 specific information, visit adena.org/COVID19.
Jeff Graham is the president and CEO of the Adena Regional Medical Center.