RANCHO MIRAGE — For more than five weeks, Eisenhower Health has been quietly and methodically enacting its hospital-wide pandemic plan and leading efforts to make sure it has everything needed in the event a surge of COVID-19 cases happens.
In a letter to patients dated March 31, 2020, G. Aubrey Serfling, president and CEO of Eisenhower Health, and Laura Williamson, director of annual giving for Eisenhower Health Foundation, said being proactive, prepared and self-reliant is the best way to care for their patients.
“We don’t feel it’s prudent and true to our core values to wait and rely on federal grant money or supplies for what may come,” they wrote.
To that end, here is what Eisenhower Health is doing or has done:
- The hospital currently has 17 ICU isolation beds. This is being increased to nearly 50, as patient rooms are transformed to critical care beds.
- Elective surgeries have been postponed to focus on preparing for a probable surge in COVID-19 isolation cases. Many regular rooms have been changed over to negative pressure rooms.
- Many physician offices and clinics, such as at Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center and Eisenhower Desert Cardiology Center, have transitioned into telemedicine hubs — patients can call into their physicians for consultations.
- The surge team asked if donors could underwrite 50 additional ventilators at $48,000 per unit to add to existing inventory. That would bring the hospital close to having 100 ventilators. The order was placed days before the demand peaked, meaning delivery is expected in the weeks to come.
- Lab equipment was ordered before the outbreak, which will allow Eisenhower Health to perform its own COVID-19 tests internally and reduce the turnaround test time, from days to hours. The hospital hopes to have this up and running by mid-April.
For those wanting to help, the hospital’s current focus is on three other areas of acute need to provide things such as:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): face shields, goggles, eye-visors, surgical masks/N95 respirators, isolation gowns, disposable gloves, and test kits.
- Treatment Equipment: IV pumps, additional dialysis machines,, rapid test equipment, UV Decontamination, and iPads for physicians to provide telemedicine.
- Critical Capacity Expansion: allocating designated in-take space. increasing ICU isolation beds, creating Eisenhower in-house testing lab.
If you would like to help, the hospital has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to accept donations to meet the demands placed on healthcare. To find out more, or make a donation click here.
“One thing that won’t change through all of this is the ability of Eisenhower and you, our community, to meet this challenge calmly, with kindness and compassion,” Serfling and Williamson wrote. “We will get through this, together.”
- Eisenhower Health: Shutterstock