Maple Grove Hospital is known for delivering great care and customer experience to customers in Maple Grove and the surrounding communities. And this remains the case during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Katy Sullivan, Corporate Communications with North Memorial Health, said Maple Grove Hospital and North Memorial Health have developed care plans and protocols to ensure patients with COVID-19 are getting the best care possible.
With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching the United States in February, and Minnesotans staying home starting in March, plans were well underway at Maple Grove Hospital of how to handle the pandemic and future patients that may have COVID-19.
Maple Grove Hospital first began preparing and monitoring the situation starting in January when reports of the new illness came out of China.
“We implemented our full incident command structure for the North Memorial Health system seven weeks ago,” Sullivan said. “Our incident command structure encompasses Maple Grove Hospital, North Memorial Health Hospital, and North Memorial Health Clinic as well as our ambulance services division and provides oversight, direction, and implementation of the critical preparations to care for the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Steps were also taken to protect hospital staff and patients at the hospital.
Throughout this time, the hospital has been following CDC guidelines for personal protective equipment. “We’ve been evaluating roles and types of care given to ensure that the protective equipment that we’re supplying aligns with the procedures and care that those team members are giving,” Sullivan said. “We have done things that you’ve seen in other public-facing settings, like putting social distancing decals on our floors throughout the hospital along with posters and table tents educating about the importance of social distancing. We’ve also added plexiglass at customer registration and welcome desks, and implemented restrictions to our visitor policy.”
The safety of all patients is a priority at Maple Grove Hospital.
“As a hospital we’re used to caring for individuals with infectious disease, and that’s what COVID 19 is,” Sullivan said.
Everyone who comes to the hospital is screened. They are asked standard questions about symptoms including fever, cough, loss of taste and smell. The process is a little different if a patient arrives by ambulance.
“When someone comes to the hospital with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, they go through the standard screening questions,” she said. “They will be examined by a clinician in appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment). If they meet the testing criteria, a nasal pharyngeal swab will be administered, and then that would be sent for testing. Depending on the severity of their symptoms, they will either be admitted to the hospital for care while their test is being processed or they’ll be sent home and asked to monitor their symptoms and come back to the hospital if their symptoms worsen and need hospital support.”
She added a good percentage of people with COVID-19 can recover at home.
On April 23, the hospital started to test everyone who’s admitted to the hospital regardless of if they’re symptomatic or not. Sullivan said there are two reasons for this. One it gives the hospital a better sense of how COVID-19 is appearing in the broader population, including the population in the hospital. And it also helps the hospital keep staff safe and minimize their risk of exposure when caring for asymptomatic patients.
Maple Grove Hospital has been well-known as a hospital that has delivered many babies over the past decade. The hospital is continuing to provide the highest quality of care to parents and babies while they are in the hospital and is prepared to care for them no matter their needs.
“We have increased our education resources to help parents care for their new baby during COVID-19 and we’ve launched our NICU cameras enabling parents to see their babies in the NICU when they are not onsite,” Sullivan said. “We have also developed the care plans and technology necessary to care for a mom or baby that tests COVID-19 positive.”
Those mothers delivering babies will see care providers in more protective equipment than they would under pre-pandemic conditions. “Her providers will have face masks and will likely have eye protection,” Sullivan said. “The other difference is that our labor and delivery patients are only allowed one visitor per hospitalization. This is at the discretion of the woman who’s delivering, but it’s usually a partner, maybe a doula.”
The hospital is providing a virtual tour of the family birth center on its website. This allows pregnant women and their families a chance to experience the center from their own homes. They will be able to get a sense of the space and the care they will receive.
Birthing classes are being offered online, as all in-person classes have temporarily suspended.
IF YOU FEEL SICK OR ARE HURT
Sullivan urges people with non-COVID-19 emergencies to come to the hospital.
“Don’t wait. We are able to care for patients with COVID-19 and well as those without COVID-19 simultaneously and safely,” she said. “We have the capacity to care for the things we would normally care for while also caring for people with COVID-19. If you are having chest pain, if you are having symptoms of a stroke, if you have a broken leg, don’t wait, come to the hospital, and let us take care of you.”
The hospital is looking for donations. At this time, it is looking for N-95 masks; impervious, disposable gowns; and wipes. People can donate hospital-grade wipes, or routine home-use wipes including Clorox and Lysol wipes.
Also, Maple Grove Hospital is taking monetary donations and donations of homemade masks and N-95 mask covers.
To learn more, visit the hospital’s website at northmemorial.com/location/maple-grove-hospital
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