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Pratt Regional Medical Center president and CEO explains COVID-19 plans

Susan Page
Pratt Tribune
Susan Page, PRMC President and CEO, says a COVID-19 task force has been monitoring and preparing for the impact of the novel coronavirus spread and local health professionals are ready to assist the Pratt community as needed.

At Pratt Regional Medical Center, the health and well-being of our patients and caregivers are our top priorities. We are prepared to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus (COVID-19), and are here to assure everyone in Pratt County and beyond that we will always Fight The Good Fight for our communities.

PRMC is committed to doing everything possible to protect patients, staff and community members. We have our own COVID Task Force of strategic personnel from across our organization that has been meeting daily since March 9th for updates, planning and preparation for the impact of COVID-19.

Limited test kits as well as restricted availability of personal protective equipment have been a top priority for the PRMC Task Force. We have been blessed with several donations, from our community and beyond. Orders are placed weekly with Pratt County Emergency Management, however as we are not a "hot spot" for COVID-19, which is a blessing, we are only receiving a small allocation of what we order.

Our medical staff is meeting with us weekly to discuss patient care protocols, clinical guidance based on CDC guidelines and more. We have created a series of educational videos for our frontline staff to ensure conservation of personal protective equipment, as well as proper use. We are being intentional in our planning to conserve our supplies so we can keep our staff safe and minimize exposure to ensure we can continue to provide the excellent and compassionate care you have come to expect from Pratt Regional Medical Center for the last 70 years.

PRMC also has an active ethics committee devising a plan to address possible issues before they arise, as this is a complex medical situation that can also raise ethical concerns.

PRMC has a 6-bed Intensive Care Unit, and 23 beds on our Medical/Surgical Floor. Our front-line staff is trained in droplet and airborne precautions. PRMC has three negative pressure rooms which is an isolation technique used in hospitals and medical centers to prevent cross-contamination from room to room. We are equipped with three ventilators. Although requested, we did not receive any additional machines from the national stockpile.

Our partnerships with Pratt County Emergency Management, Pratt County Health Department, Pratt County EMS, Pratt Sheriff, Pratt County Dispatch, Pratt County RSVP, Pratt County Counselor, City of Pratt Attorney, City of Pratt Police, City of Pratt Fire, Pratt City Manager, Pratt Schools, Skyline Schools, Pratt Community College have never been stronger.

As always, prevention is key, and we stress the importance of always using proper hand hygiene and distancing. For up-to-date information on Pratt Regional Medical Center's approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at www.prmc.org and look for the Gold Bar at the top of the page.

Because COVID-19 is so easy to transmit and takes so long to detect, each one of us needs to pitch in to these efforts including washing our hands more often and more thoroughly than most are used to as well as monitoring our personal health for cough, respiratory issues and even a temperature of just over 100 degrees.

PRMC routinely practices for the potential of emergency operations in our community to ensure we are prepared to treat patients who seek care and are experiencing symptoms of various illnesses. We continue to monitor the situation to ensure prevention and preparation strategies are based on the most current clinical standards and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

As the threat for COVID-19 virus is amplified, so too are our efforts. Here are just a few of the steps we are taking to assure uninterrupted care:

* We're limiting entry into the hospital and clinics so anyone who enters the patient care areas can be carefully screened, and masks can be provided to those who need them.

* Every employee, caregiver, and provider has been asked to follow a self-screening procedure because protecting our patients starts with protecting our people.

* As always, extra vigilant cleaning is occurring to prevent the spread of infection.

Pratt Regional Medical Center is prepared and ready, and hopefully we will be able to get back to our normal lives soon. Rest assured that we will continue to monitor and adjust our action plans based on the latest guidance from our partners in community health.

Thank you.

Susan Page

President and CEO, Pratt Regional Medical Center