Ghazala Sharieff, MD, MBA, Scripps Health chief medical officer, clinical excellence and experience, breaks down some of the safety measures at Scripps hospitals, clinics and other facilities to keep patients, staff and physicians safe.
Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder recently had elective surgery at Scripps and recounts his experience as a patient with the new safety procedures at Scripps.
One of the newest things that we’ve put in is what’s called curbside check-in under Hello Patient. Basically what that means is, if we can help it, you don’t even have to wait in the waiting room. You just notify us when you get to your appointment and we will let you know when we’re ready to receive you in our facility and that avoids a lot of contact.
One of the things we are doing is following the visitor restriction policy. That’s a public health order and so we have to abide by that.
[Exceptions are made in certain situations, including those visiting a patient on comfort/end-of-life care or who are the coach/partner of a maternity patient.]
We are screening everybody that comes into one of our facilities. That’s patients and staff as well.
We are isolating our COVID positive patients to make sure that they are not in a room with somebody else who does not have COVID.
[Patients with COVID-19 symptoms are often consulted via telehealth and directed to drive-thru testing. If they are admitted to a Scripps hospital, they are taken to an isolated area dedicated to COVID-19 care immediately upon arrival and isolated from other patients.]
We’re asking everybody to wear a mask. That includes all our staff. We’re asking our patients to wear a mask as well. If you are visiting a hospital, we’ll ask you to wear a mask as well. That is absolutely the one thing that we have found that helps minimize the transmission of COVID. We’re seeing a lot of community outbreaks and I will tell you, the one thing that is saving people is wearing their mask. Please wear one.
We’ve put in a lot of protocols for cleaning and disinfecting. It’s helping all our patients and our staff. We’re putting break room precautions as well. We’re doing everything that we can to keep everything clean and disinfected.
We’ve been taking lots of measures for the safety of our patients, primarily making sure that our health care providers are all protecting themselves with masks, washing their hands in between every patient, cleaning the rooms in between every patient.
We’ve put in a lot of safety measures since COVID first hit our community. One of those was actually canceling elective procedures.
Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder was scheduled to have a hand procedure and he got canceled. Now with all of the reopenings, we were able to get him scheduled again. I wanted you to hear from him what his experience was like.
Hi, my name is Chris Van Gorder, I’m president and chief executive officer for Scripps Health and I just recently had a procedure done at one of our hospitals, at Scripps Green Hospital. Terrific staff, great experience.
It was so easy to initially set up my appointment. I had been canceled when COVID first started and I certainly understood that we needed to open up capacity in our hospitals. When they finally started doing surgeries again, I was able to go online through the portal and get my procedure rescheduled.
I received a message back that said when I was to come in the hospital, just to sit in my car and make a phone call to them. I made one phone call and the staff checked who I was and said, “Why don’t you get ready to come down and we’ll come and get you and bring you down for your procedure.”
I went downstairs and met an individual who was wearing a face shield and mask and gloves. Six feet apart, I could give my information. I’d already registered, so that was a very quick process and then I walked over to the waiting room where everything’s marked off. You really can’t even sit next to each other if you decide to sit down.
The doctor came in, told me what he was going to do and did the procedure, washing his hands and wearing all the appropriate personal protective equipment.
The procedure went very, very well. I got my discharge instructions and then I was allowed to leave the hospital.
Safety is the number one concern for Scripps hospitals. They certainly want the procedure to go well and the surgery to go well, but they want to make sure that everybody who comes in the hospital is going to be safe and that you leave the hospital safe.
I’m proud of the organization and you should feel very comfortable that if you decide to come to Scripps, you’ll be in a safe environment.
Lightly edited for clariy. For more information about Scripps safety measures please visit scripps.org/covid19.