While coronavirus (COVID-19) is new, preparing for responses to disasters is not. Hospitals and health systems conduct emergency preparedness training year-round, in each region and facility.
Hospitals treat patients with infectious diseases every day. There are protocols in place to care for these patients while ensuring the safety of hospital staff, visitors and the larger community. Hospitals also share information and best practices and deploy specific strategies that work best for their communities.
When there is threat of an illness that could cause a surge of patients, each individual hospital steps up its preparedness and coordination activities. In the case of COVID-19, hospitals around the state are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control, the Washington State Department of Health and local public health to coordinate response efforts.
COVID-19 cases in Washington are growing quickly. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, we strongly recommend self-quarantining until you can get tested or your symptoms have been gone for seven days. During that time, you should wash your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, cover your mouth/nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then through that tissue away. You can also rest, drink lots of fluids and take pain and fever medications.
The Washington State Hospital Association has collected a variety of information and resources to assist hospitals, the public and the media in responding to COVID-19, which you can view by clicking the links below.
This post contains important information from our partners at the Washington State Hospital Association. For more information, please contact Beth Zborowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on Friday March 13th related to the COVID-19 outbreak is welcome news to Washington’s hospitals.
The health care delivery system in Washington state has been
strained by the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Hospitals have activated
their emergency response plans and are evaluating their situation every day,
including available space, staff and supplies. The state has authorized
flexibility to allow health care workers licensed in other states to provide
care to patients in Washington. This week has brought the first positive cases
of COVID-19 to some rural communities, widening the range of the impacts and
the response zone.
The emergency declaration will allow the State of Washington
to seek waivers from certain federal laws governing health care delivery. The
Washington State Hospital Association is working with hospitals and the
Department of Health to seek waiver of federal laws that most limit hospitals’
ability to respond. Some areas under consideration include:
Waiving limits on rural Critical Access Hospitals. Under federal law, critical access hospitals can only have 25 beds and can only keep patients for an average of 96 hours. Waiving this law will allow COVID-19 patients to be cared for in their communities and provide flexibility in movement of patients across the state if one area becomes particularly hard-hit.
Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act Waiver. Under current law, patients who arrive at the ER must be treated at the ER. This waiver would allow hospitals to screen or triage patients at a location offsite from the hospital’s campus and transfer patients according to their needs.
Flexibility in the use of space. This would allow hospital care to be provided in a non-hospital building, freeing hospital beds for the most acute patients while providing beds for those still in need of care.
Expedited discharge of patients no longer in need of acute care. Getting patients into appropriate community care settings — like long-term care centers, adult family homes, or with home health — would create significant additional capacity to care for very ill patients.
The federal emergency declaration will provide much-needed relief to the health care system, however concerns over supplies and staff remain. As the ability to process tests for COVID-19 have increased, the supplies needed to collect specimen for these tests has dwindled.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, contact your
primary care provider or call your insurer or local hospital’s nurse triage
line to evaluate your symptoms. It is critically important that people use the
health care system appropriately. The emergency room should only be used when
you are having a life-threatening emergency. Continue to see your health care
team for care for chronic conditions to ensure you do not become an emergency.
$970.00 x 2 = $1940 ($970.00 per participant for all four days. One fee covers both trainings – however, you may split the trainings between two people)
Payment and registration can be completed online via payPal or VISA.
If you would like to make payment via check, please mail check and registration form to: Washington Rural Health Collaborative 600 E Main St.
Elma, WA 98541
Questions?Please contact Kathryn Hall-Thompson, Washington Rural Health Collaborative at (360) 346-2350 or by email at email@example.com