Cartersville Medical Center has protocols in place to care for patients with infectious diseases, and they have been working diligently to ensure they are prepared for potential issues related to COVID-19. Since March 9th, there have been 32 positive COVID-19 patients (with 12 who currently remain as inpatients). Overall, there have been 15 patients who have tested negative to date. There are currently 39 patients in house awaiting test results; 31 patients, including inpatient and ER patients, have been discharged home following CDC and Public Health guidance for self-quarantine. They are following infection prevention protocols for COVID-19 patients, including isolation, to help ensure the safety of staff, patients, and visitors and they continue to work closely with the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health.
They continue reinforcing infection prevention protocols and screening procedures at hospital entrances as a proactive measure. They have positioned supplies at points of entry so that any potential symptomatic patient who arrives can be properly masked and immediately isolated to protect staff and other patients.
Currently, a “No Visitor” policy is in effect with the following exceptions and allowances:
• Pediatric Patients – One Parent or Caregiver
• OB Patients – One Birthing or Care Partner
• Outpatient Surgery or Outpatient Testing – One Caregiver
Other exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis. Cartersville Medical Center encourages alternative communication with patients such as phone, FaceTime, text, or e-mail during this time.
While they currently have the bed capacity, staffing, and supplies and equipment they need at this time, they recognize this is a fluid, ever-changing situation, and they continue to plan by accessing the resources, support, and best practices across their parent company HCA Healthcare to help ensure they remain able to meet the needs of the communities they serve as the situation continues to evolve:
• To ensure they are prepared for an influx of patients, they have staffing contingency plans, and those include the use of HCA Healthcare’s in-house staffing agency.
• To help ensure their caregivers and patients continue to have enough supplies and equipment, they are asking staff to conserve personal protective equipment (or PPE) by following, but not exceeding, the guidelines for infection prevention. In addition, HCA Healthcare is working to identify other sources of important supplies and equipment to help ensure the continued protection of staff and patients.
• They currently have the ability to add bed capacity to certain areas of the hospital, if needed, and they are reviewing best practices of other HCA Healthcare hospitals.
Like other hospitals in our area, having enough testing capabilities is an issue they continue to monitor, and they appreciate the Georgia Department of Public Health’s diligent work in this area. They also look forward to receiving a distribution of PPE supplies from the Georgia Department of Public Health to support the hospital’s needs.
Maintaining a safe environment for their patients, colleagues, and community is of the highest priority.