Preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic
HCA Healthcare is doing everything we can to equip our patient care teams to provide safe, effective care to the people we serve, unwavering in our dedication despite the unique challenges presented by COVID-19.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal has been to protect our frontline clinicians and caregivers so they are able to continue to care for our patients and communities. The pandemic has strained the worldwide supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, face shields, and gowns, a challenge that is not unique to HCA Healthcare or any other health system in the United States. While we are doing everything in our power to secure additional supplies, and we are following CDC protocols for using and conserving PPE, the worldwide shortage is a reality that we are addressing with realistic, workable solutions. The steps we have taken include:
- Enacted universal masking for all of our employees
- Appointing PPE Stewards in our hospitals to oversee priority deployment of PPE effective for COVID-19 where and when it is needed most
- Creating strategically located PPE distribution centers across our hospital campuses to quickly deliver equipment
- In addition to supplies, to ensure that our hospitals are prepared for an influx in patients, we have staffing contingency plans, which include the use of our in-house staffing agency and plans for emergency credentialing nurses and doctors who may not be part of our current workforce.
We also have taken steps to help protect the financial security of our front-line caregivers and their support colleagues, including a “pandemic pay continuation” policy even as other health care systems have announced layoffs. For colleagues with reduced hours, the company will seek to redeploy them to other opportunities so they can continue working. Those who cannot be redeployed will continue to receive 70 percent of base pay for up to seven weeks. For colleagues working in patient care facilities who are quarantined per CDC guidelines, we will pay 100 percent of base pay for scheduled hours regardless of where the exposure took place.
In addition, we are offering scrub laundering for colleagues who care for COVID-19 patients to help prevent potentially carrying the virus home on clothing. In addition, the company is working with major hotel chains to provide housing for caregivers who provide care to COVID-19 patients and prefer not to go home to their loved ones after their shift.
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented. At a time when our nation needs us to pull together to support our nurses and physicians, some have chosen to attack the healthcare industry in general. This unparalleled crisis is not a time to spread misinformation and fear within healthcare organizations that are doing everything possible to protect caregivers and patients.
Wesley Healthcare to temporarily suspend inpatient services at Wesley Woodlawn Hospital
Wesley Healthcare has announced that it will temporarily suspend inpatient services at Wesley Woodlawn Hospital in order to best deploy the health system’s staff and resources to meet the needs of the community during the outbreak of COVID-19. The Wesley Woodlawn Hospital Emergency Room will remain open. This suspension of services only affects the inpatient services we provide for the community.
Suspending inpatient services at Wesley Woodlawn will allow Wesley Healthcare to move key clinical staff and physicians to Wesley’s Hillside campus, which is leading the health system’s COVID-19 response. Wesley Woodlawn’s emergency department, imaging services and laboratory services will remain open to serve the community.
The measure is expected to last approximately 60 days.
“This was a very difficult decision for us to make,” William Voloch, CEO of Wesley Healthcare, said. “However, given the circumstances, we feel that this is the right thing to do for our community. By adding additional resources and personnel at the Hillside campus, we can better prepare ourselves for peak patient volume, which we expect to occur later this month.”
Employees at Wesley Woodlawn will be redeployed to the Hillside campus whenever possible, according to Tripp Owings, CEO of Wesley Woodlawn.
“With the current COVID-19 crisis placing more demands on the Hillside campus, it seemed to make sense to consolidate our resources as an organization to make the most of the expertise our colleagues have to offer,” Owings said. “This is a temporary suspension, and area residents can rest assured that our ER will remain open to assist those with urgent medical needs.”
Colleagues who cannot be redeployed will be eligible for HCA Healthcare’s Pandemic Pay program, which guarantees colleagues 70% of their normal income for up to seven weeks. Employees can also use accrued PTO hours to bring their compensation to 100%, if desired.
New patients arriving at Wesley Woodlawn will begin being transferred to the Hillside campus beginning Friday evening, and existing patients will be transferred on Monday.
Wesley’s Hillside campus remains fully operational and is accepting patients. Wesley’s West ER, Derby ER and Wesley Woodlawn ER continue to operate normally as well.
“I know that every one of our colleagues here at Wesley Woodlawn will continue to do everything they can to help during this pandemic,” Owings said. “I’m so proud of everyone here and the contributions they will continue to make for our community during this challenging time.”
Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER is a 99-bed facility located at 2610 N. Woodlawn, near K-96 in northeast Wichita.