Posted: September 9th, 2020
Innovations to Safeguard Care
When faced with the first realities of COVID-19 last March, NRMC quickly responded and retooled its patient care processes to ensure the well-being of not only those patients with the virus but also patients with other health needs, as well as visitors, associates, and the medical staff. It became apparent early on that the ideal setting for Covid-19 patients was in negative pressure, private rooms, where all safety and infectious disease protocols could be quickly implemented without exposing others to the virus. The NRMC team adapted and created short-term solutions while proactively planning for more permanent solutions.
Today, the hospital is pleased to announce that with the approval of the Board of Commissioners, NRMC is undertaking three innovative initiatives designed to treat patients in the event of future virus outbreaks or other infectious respiratory illnesses such as RSV and Influenza (Flu). Specifically, the hospital is creating a dedicated 10-bed Negative Pressure Unit with private rooms, a 10-bed Step-down unit for those who do not need intensive care but require a higher level of care, and an Emergency Department Fever and Respiratory Isolation waiting area for those presenting with fever or respiratory type airborne infections. This will serve as a safeguard, so that other patients coming into the Emergency Department are not exposed to patients with fever or a cough.
“The health, safety and well-being of our community is paramount to us,” explained Kirk Soileau, CEO of Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. “There are many lessons learned from the pandemic, but perhaps the one that resonates the most is to be innovative in our planning and actions. Going forward, we want to be prepared for any future health crisis or pandemic, so we can move swiftly to provide safe care zones for all patients. These dedicated units will go a long way in helping us address Covid-19 and other infectious respiratory illnesses. And we will be the first rural hospital in the state to do so,” Soileau added.
Working closely with the architectural firm of Bradley-Blewster and the engineering firm of Morgan Mechanical, NRMC leadership plans to expedite construction of these units. With acceptance of bids this week, while awaiting state approval, the hospital anticipates a construction period of less than 60-days, allowing the organization to be prepared for the upcoming fall and winter flu season.