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Madera Community Hospital Expands Screening for Emergency Department Patients

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  • Written By: Sherrie Bakke
Madera Community Hospital Expands Screening for  Emergency Department Patients

Your Hospital Takes the Next Steps To Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Madera – Today, Madera Community Hospital implemented a temporary no-visitor policy, halted elective surgeries and expanded our safe screening procedure, while maintaining the vital function or our Emergency Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and safety of our workforce, patients and the communities we serve, remain our top priority,” said Karen Paolinelli, Chief Executive Officer. “We must do everything we can to ensure Madera Community Hospital continues the essential duty of providing vital healthcare services for our community.”

The no visitation policy is intended to keep patients, staff, and the community safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitation exceptions are made for, patients near end of life, those in Labor & Delivery and pediatric patients. The visitors of these patients must be screened for fever and respiratory conditions related to COVID-19, prior to entry. Patients needing outpatient care, and their approved escort, must also be screened prior to entry in our hospital and clinics.

“In an effort to decrease patient visits to the Emergency Department, we have established a drive-up process, where patients who have met criteria set by the Health Department can be COVID-19 tested directly from their cars,” said Terrance McGovern, DO, Medical Director Emergency Services. “Once community spread, of COVID-19, was confirmed we received an influx of calls and visits to the Emergency Department.” Concerned patients can now park, call and are initially screened. If the patient meets the CDC guidelines of COVID-19 testing, patients are registered and tested in the Emergency Department’s drive through portico.

Madera Community Hospital’s nimble healthcare system is flexing the normal protocols to best meet the Emergency Medicine needs. “Although COVID-19 is the most discussed and reported topic, every day your Emergency Department is saving patient’s lives, with conditions unrelated to COVID-19,” Dr. McGovern said.

Madera Community Hospital’s new, temporary no-visitor policy is now in place. If an exception is made for a visitor (only one), they will be screening for fever, cough and shortness of breath. Family and loved ones looking for patients can call 559-675-5520 for patient updates. For healthy children over 2 years of age, the Children’s Visitor Center provide free child care, provided their legal guardian is receiving outpatient services at Madera Community Hospital.

“The third phase of reducing spread in our hospital was to discontinue elective surgeries,” said Paolinelli. “We know all of these temporary adjustments to your healthcare system are inconvenient, but they are critical to preserving our healthcare workforce, protecting our patients and the public.”

“I am so grateful for our Medical Staff for their continued concern for the safety and wellbeing of our healthcare workers,” Paolinelli said. “And, this County is so very fortunate to have physicians like Dr. Roshan who is Board Certified Infectious Disease and Dr. McGovern who, in addition to Board Certification in Emergency Medicine, has a Masters Degree in Public Health, who are leading efforts in conjunction with Dr. Ramirez at Camarena and in communication with the Public Health Officer, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Madera County Public Health Department advises, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary physician rather than walking into a medical office or hospital. Your physician will connect with Public Health to determine if testing is appropriate.