Methodist Healthcare System | Keeping Well | Summer 2020

Important phone numbers for your healthcare needs Call-A-Nurse for Children from Methodist Children’s Hospital 210-22-NURSE (210-226-8773) Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Weekends and major holidays When your child has a medical need, Call-A- Nurse for Children from Methodist Children’s Hospital has specially-trained pediatric nurses to assist you with medical advice concerning your child. HealthBus and Well Waldo’s Wheels 210-MHS-RIDE (210-647-7433) Do you worry about how you will get to your next doctor’s appointment? Do you use a wheelchair and need a little extra assistance getting to the hospital for outpatient testing? Do you have a child with special needs and lack a vehicle that can accommodate your child’s medical transportation needs? Methodist Healthcare has the answer. HealthBus for adults and Well Waldo’s Wheels for children and expectant moms provide transportation from your home to your doctor’s office or hospital and then pick you up later and take you home. For information on how to schedule a ride and specific hospitals and ZIP codes served, please call 210-MHS-RIDE . Medical Advice for Adults 210-575-0355 Available 24/7. Methodist Healthcare remains focused on providing outstanding care. Here are the steps we have taken to keep patients and staff safe: Screening processes are in place for all patients, visitors and staff before they enter facilities. COVID-19-positive patients and those under investigation are masked and escorted to designated locations. Non-COVID-19 patients, including those receiving outpatient care or undergoing scheduled procedures, are treated in separate areas. Universal masking is required throughout our facilities, which exceeds Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Heightened infection prevention policies include the removal of high-touch items such as magazines, toys and vending machines from our facilities. Food and drinks are prohibited in clinical units to prevent the spread of illness. Visitors are not permitted in the hospital at this time; however, exceptions are made for cases of palliative care and other vulnerable patient populations. STEPS TO KEEP OUR PATIENTS AND STAFF SAFE ABOVE: Esther Sanchez on the mend. LEFT: Nurses Gretta Gast, Kelsey Holbrook, and Sydney Weiler created a video to gain support to help give Esther hope. Staff video inspires patient’s recovery from COVID-19 ESTHER SANCHEZ spent eight weeks fighting for her life after testing positive for COVID-19. When Esther lost hope and the motivation to keep fighting, her care team recognized a decline in her health and decided to create a TikTok video of themselves dancing to her favorite Korean boy band, BTS, in hopes of getting their attention. Rather, the video went viral, attracting the attention of more than a million concerned fans from all over the world. Thousands of inspiring messages and comments were sent to help encourage Esther back to health. Her nurses hung some of the comments in her room to share some positivity and help restore her will to fight. She began responding well to treatment and was removed from life support. Esther and her care team attribute her recovery to the overwhelming support shown to her from all over the globe. Keeping our staff safe The safety of our patients is always a top priority, and equally as important is keeping our staff safe. We have always followed the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but we have implemented additional precautions for good measure, such as mandating that an N95 mask plus face shield must be worn for all ED and ICU staff caring for any patient, regardless of COVID-19 status. We also offer in-house laundering of scrubs at shift’s end, and we ask that all staff wear masks from the time they exit or return to their vehicle when entering and exiting our hospitals. Members of the community often worry they are at an increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 when they interact with a healthcare worker; however, it’s important to note that healthcare workers who care for COVID-19-positive patients wear the most protective mask available, the N95. It is so named because it is proven to block 95% of extremely small particles from entering or exiting the mask upon coughing, sneezing or simply speaking. When considering the minimal risk of 5%, consider that all patients who are able (i.e., those not on a ventilator) and fellow staff are wearing masks, so exposure is extremely unlikely. According to CDC, viral shedding is at its highest during the two to three days before the onset of symptoms; therefore, positive patients receiving care have generally passed the most contagious phase prior to admission. Some also worry that healthcare providers may carry the virus on their clothing. While researchers found that the virus can remain on some surfaces for up to 72 hours, surfaces have not been documented as a primary cause for spread—particularly fabrics. “So far, evidence suggests that it’s harder to catch the virus from a soft surface (such as fabric) than it is from frequently touched hard surfaces like elevator buttons or door handles,” wrote Lisa Maragakis, MD, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System. According to CDC, COVID-19 is primarily spread directly from person to person; however, you may also be able to get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then immediately touching your mouth, nose or eyes. That being said, we offer any staff member who wears scrubs the option of leaving their scrubs to be washed upon the end of their shift rather than wearing them home to their families. We also offer hotel rooms for staff and physicians who care for COVID-19 patients. As we learn about the virus, we will continue to adjust to the environment and make changes based on new evidence or circumstances in the best interest of our patients and staff. 2 K E E P I N G W E L L   S U M M E R 2 0 2 0 N E W S , V I E W S & T I P S H E A L T H T A L K