Tidelands Health implementing surge strategies at its hospitals

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on March 17, 2020

Tidelands Health implementing surge strategies at its hospitals

As part of ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus preparations, Tidelands Health is implementing temporary surge strategies at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

coronavirus information centerThe critical care unit at both hospitals has been expanded to include additional patient rooms that are normally used for general medical-surgical patients. Additional ventilators have been procured for these newly designated CCU rooms.

Because this creates a “ripple effect” on available patient rooms, the following steps have been taken to create additional capacity:

  • All available rooms in both facilities have been put into operation to increase general medical-surgical capacity. Staffing has been increased accordingly.
  • Labor and delivery services at Tidelands Georgetown have been temporarily consolidated to Tidelands Waccamaw. Tidelands Georgetown will continue to offer emergency labor and delivery services. Gynecological procedures and surgeries will continue at Tidelands Georgetown. The labor and delivery unit at Tidelands Georgetown will temporarily be used for general medical-surgical patients.
  • Pediatric services at Tidelands Georgetown have been temporarily consolidated to Tidelands Waccamaw.
  • The emergency departments at both hospitals are preparing to open and staff medical tents for triage of patients who come to the ER with less severe symptoms. These tents are a surge strategy to accommodate lower-acuity patients and WILL NOT offer COVID-19 testing.

Tidelands Health has used similar strategies in the past during hurricanes to optimize the provision of safe, quality patient care.

“Across the world, hospitals are taking steps to increase capacity to care for critically ill patients,” said Ashley Capps, associate vice president of nursing operations. “For example, you may have seen news coverage of hospitals adding mobile trailers with critical-care beds.

“The steps we’re taking accomplish the same goal by reallocating existing beds inside our facilities. These preparations are being implemented with a single goal – to help us provide safe, high-quality care for our community.”

Tidelands Health continues to coordinate with other regional hospitals, DHEC and the CDC in its response efforts. At its hospitals, Tidelands Health has limited the number of public entrances, is screening patients and visitors for symptoms upon arrival and has implemented visitor restrictions.

Tidelands Health encourages community members to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by frequently washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding touching their face and covering coughs and sneezes. In addition, practice social distancing. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and keep a distance between you and others.

If you are feeling sick, stay at home. Call your health care provider and follow the provider’s instructions. In case of emergency, dial 911.

Community members can find additional tips and resources, including helpful instructional videos and printable fliers for distribution, in the coronavirus information center at tidelandshealth.org.

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Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners are working side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.