Mercy Adapts to Protect Patients During Times of Unprecedented Change

March 23, 2020

As the world continues to make unprecedented decisions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) illness, Mercy is moving quickly to make changes as well. We will be transitioning processes in our Mercy clinics and hospitals to protect our patients and caregivers.

Emergency Department Triage

Mercy hospitals in Springfield, St. Louis, South (St. Louis), Oklahoma City, Ft. Smith, Ardmore, Joplin, Rogers, Washington, Jefferson, Lebanon, and Ada will be opening a special triage space near the main ER entrance to immediately provide help and masks for those who think they may have COVID-19. Adding this extra level of triage also protects patients who are visiting the ER for unrelated issues. An initial triage nurse will quickly assess the reason for a patient’s visit and if COVID-19 is suspected, the patient will be isolated from the rest of the patients and treated in that space. If the potential COVID-19 patients are more ill, they will be routed through a separate entrance to minimize exposure to the waiting room and other patients.

COVID-Forward-Triage-SGF Mercy is implementing outdoor forward triage spaces near emergency entrances, such as this one at Mercy Hospital Springfield, to immediately provide help and masks for those who think they may have COVID-19.

 

Dedicated Care Areas

Mercy is setting up dedicated care areas in some clinic and hospital locations to keep those with suspected respiratory illnesses needing care separate from other patients. Given the unprecedented challenge that we’re facing, these areas have been designed to better re-purpose our doctors, nurses and other co-workers with the goal of protecting the health of all of the communities we are privileged to serve and be able to continue care for all patients seeking health care. Given the specialized nature of these locations, walk-ins will not be accepted and patients will need a provider referral to be cared for in these areas.

Virtual Visits

As a leader in virtual care, Mercy is taking steps for patients to visit their providers in a secure method via virtual visits. Virtual care is used to reduce exposure risk for patients and possible transmission for the healthy and ill alike. For outpatient visits, more details will be coming soon on how patients can connect via their MyMercy accounts.

Online Risk Assessment

Mercy is creating an online risk assessment to help patients understand if they need to be tested for COVID-19 based on their current symptoms and risk factors. Following the assessment, the patient will be provided with instruction on next best steps based on the patients’ answers within the assessment and guided through the process including possible testing, triage, monitoring and in-home care if necessary.

Restricted Visitors

To protect patients, co-workers and the community, Mercy will be further expanding visitor restrictions beginning Monday, March 23. No visitors will be allowed in the hospital with limited exceptions. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope everyone understands the need for these restrictions to protect our patients and caregivers.

Media Contacts

Joe Poelker

St. Louis, St. Louis - South, Festus, Troy
Phone: 314-525-4005

 

Bethany Pope

St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Louis - South, Troy, Festus
Page: (314) 251-6000

 

Sonya Kullmann

Branson, Cassville, Lebanon, Mountain View, Rolla, Springfield, Aurora
Phone: 417-820-2426

 

Meredith Huggins

Guthrie, Kingfisher, Oklahoma City
Phone: 405-936-5766

 

Jordan Larimore

Joplin, Carthage, Columbus
Phone: 417-556-2260

 

Jennifer Cook

Northwest AR, Berryville
Phone: 479-338-2927

 

Mardi Taylor

Fort Smith
Phone: 479-314-6613