ROYAL OAK, Mich. – People shouldn’t be afraid to go to the hospital. That’s the message Beaumont wants to convey.
Local 4 got a tour of how the hospital system is working to keep patients and the public safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Since the state of Michigan started reopening, the one place many people still don’t want to go is the hospital. Beaumont officials said not only are their hospitals open, but they’re safe. If you need to be there, you should go, they said.
“It was a nightmare,” Royal Oak Beaumont’s Nick Gilpin said of the virus’ affect on the hospital.
But officials had a game plan.
“I’m not going to lie and say we just dusted if off and that was our game plan,” Gilpin said. “We had to make some adjustments and had to adapt on the fly because every new disease is a little different than the one that came before.”
Adaptation is key, and that’s what hospital officials wanted to demonstrate on the tour.
The usual and expected social distancing measures are in place, as well as health monitoring at the door.
The Beaumont workshop build plexiglass dividers. Hand sanitizer stations are everywhere. Fewer chairs are set up in waiting areas.
The food court, which used to have dozens of tables, is now gone.
Getting into the emergency room requires more check-in protocols, too. Directions include a system of blue for COVID-19 negative patients and yellow for COVID-19 positive patients.
“Patients and families are more comfortable now,” hospital CEO Nancy Susick said. “They can come back to the hospital, and we really want to make sure that happens.”
“To give you an idea how things have changed, this conference room here used to be the emergency operations center,” emergency medical director Dr. James Ziadeh said. “It ran 24/7 to make sure they were on top of things, but it’s now closed and the operation has gone virtual.”
Ziadeh said it was important, but he’s glad to move on.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said. “I think we did a fantastic job staying ahead of this, but it’s nice to move onto this next stage.”
Hospital officials are nervous about the possibility of a second wave, but they said they’ve learned a lot, so they’re ready if that does happen.
Beaumont doctors stressed that anyone with emerging symptoms, especially chest pain or stroke-like symptoms, should go to a hospital immediately.
You can watch Rod’s tour in the video posted above.