Keeping you safe as we treat your emergencies

May 13, 2020 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

The COVID-19 pandemic has us all worried about our health. We’ve been inundated with news about how devastating this virus can be. We’ve been told to stay at home and only go out if it’s necessary. We’ve been scared into thinking that the last place we want to end up is in the emergency room.

While nobody wants to go to the hospital during a contagious outbreak, emergencies sometimes happen. Maybe it’s a bad burn, a broken arm or leg, or something else that needs immediate attention.

Don’t avoid getting critical care when you need it. Call 911 if the situation is life-threatening. Otherwise, head to the ER.

Edward-Elmhurst Health Emergency Departments (EDs) — located in Elmhurst, Naperville and Plainfield — are ready to care for you. And even if your issue is not COVID-19-related, our ER teams are here to handle it while keeping you safe.

Before and during COVID-19, Edward and Elmhurst Hospitals have earned national recognition in patient safety and quality. In Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2020 Hospital Safety Grades, Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital each earned an A grade, with Elmhurst Hospital maintaining its straight-A streak since grading began in 2012.

What are we doing to keep you safe during the COVID-19 crisis? The following measures are in place in our hospital Emergency Departments:

  • Visitor screening and restrictions. Before entering our EDs, all staff, patients and visitors are screened for a temperature greater than 100 degrees and masked. Visitors are being restricted at all our sites. Patients in our EDs may have one support person age 18 or older. Both parents may accompany children under 17.

  • Strict cleaning and disinfecting. We have employed extra staff who are specifically assigned to cleaning our EDs on an hourly basis.

  • Designated COVID-19 care areas. We’ve implemented multiple safety measures to minimize risk of COVID-19 cross-contamination, including separating patients with respiratory symptoms to designated areas in the ED. Critically ill patients with known or suspected COVID-19 are placed in negative-pressure isolation rooms with a separate airflow system and dedicated care teams.

  • Staff personal protective equipment (PPE). All our ED staff take extra precautions and wear proper PPE, including surgical masks, protective eyewear, gowns and gloves, when interacting with patients. The staff wears additional PPE as appropriate for specific situations.

  • COVID-19 patient testing prior to procedures. COVID-19 testing is available at our nine convenient outpatient lab locations for patients with a physician’s order. In the ED, COVID-19 testing is taking place for patients with COVID-19 symptoms or prior to a procedure (e.g., surgery, cardiac catheterization, neurointerventional procedure).

  • Physical distancing to limit exposure. Patient registration is being done remotely. Patient rooms have portable X-rays and phones for nurses and physicians to be in constant communication while limiting exposures. Also, our ED waiting areas are monitored by our triage team leaders who help ensure social distancing.  

In our Emergency Departments, our processes for time-sensitive conditions that require immediate intervention, such as stroke or cardiac symptoms, remain in place. Additionally, Edward Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department in Naperville continues to maintain specialized staff and hours of operation to provide the highest level of emergency care for our youngest patients.

While things may look a little different around here for a while, your safety and well-being continues to remain our top priority at our hospitals, physician offices and outpatient locations. In addition to in-person office visits, our healthcare providers continue to see patients through Video Visits and other virtual options.

Learn more about our emergency care and check our ED wait times.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, the first step is to call your doctor. We are also offering a Symptom Checker and a COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line (331-221-5199) to help in determining next steps.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

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