As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic arrived in San Diego, Scripps sprang into action quickly, establishing local command centers for its hospitals and clinics and a central command center led by Scripps president and CEO. Effectively acting as “mission control,” the command centers serve as operations centers, addressing operational priorities and quickly allocating appropriate resources and staff where they are most needed.
As part of the Scripps command center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Rose Colangelo, RN, is usually a patient care manager with Scripps La Jolla emergency services. Now she’s working to help ensure every patient receives the care they need in a safe and compassionate manner. Colangelo and her team coordinate with the command teams at Scripps hospitals and clinics across San Diego County to align and share best practices, staffing, supplies and other critical resources.
“We are making sure our doctors and nurses have the resources they need, including protective gear, to care safely for both our COVID-19 patients and our other patients, as well as fellow care providers,” says Colangelo. “If someone comes in with a broken leg, a heart attack or appendicitis, we are ready. Our patients can feel confident that they are protected while in our hospitals and will get the care they need.”
“You can show patients their family on the iPad ... It’s such an honor to be able to share in that moment."
High-quality hospital care at Scripps includes keeping patents in touch with others. While visitors are not allowed inside the hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis, Scripps is using technology to help patients stay connected with others. An iPad is available at the bedside for patients to use during their hospitalization, allowing them to communicate with family and friends.
“Technology has really bridged the gap,” says Colangelo. “Patients are coming in alone during this COVID-19 pandemic and they’re scared, and the families are scared for them because they can’t be here at the bedside. They can’t see what’s going on.”
Staff sit with patients at the bedside and hold their hands, while using the iPads to help connect patients with their families.
“You really become like extended family in the room,” Colangelo says. “You can show patients their family on the iPad and hear their conversations. It’s such an honor to be able to share in that moment and to bring that to the patient.”
Rose and the command center team are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.
“Remember that we are here for you,” emphasizes Colangelo. “If you feel that you have COVID-19 symptoms, we have a nurse line that you can call to review those symptoms, and they can give you advice. But if you fall, if you’re having chest pain, if you have any other kind of illness, know that we’re a safe place and we’re here for you. We’re ready to take care of you.”
Patients can call the COVID-19 nurse line at 888-261-8431.