Mercy Adapts to Protect Patients During Times of Unprecedented Change

March 25, 2020

As the world continues to make unprecedented decisions related to the 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, while expanding services to patients across the state.

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City Changes:

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City has opened a triage area in front of the main ER entrance to screen all patients who present to the ER with any symptoms. A triage nurse will quickly assess the reason for a patient’s visit and if COVID-19 is suspected, the patient will be isolated and routed to a designated area in the emergency department separate from other patients.

  • Adding this extra level of triage also protects patients who are visiting the ER for unrelated symptoms. 
  • The number of patients visiting the ER with COVID-19 symptoms is still manageable in our current ER department, but Mercy has built an overflow area for eight additional patients if we need to add capacity in the future.
  • While these changes have been made to prepare for a possible influx of patients with more severe COVID-19 symptoms, Mercy still has limited testing resources.
  • Patients with mild symptoms are encouraged to stay home and call their primary care provider.

Mercy Clinic Changes:

Virtual Visits

As a leader in telemedicine, Mercy clinics across Oklahoma have significantly expanded technological capabilities and have stood up the state’s first secure, HIPAA compliant virtual visits for both new and established patients. Telemedicine is our next critical step in increasing access for patients across the state while reducing exposure in our clinics and triaging patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. For outpatient visits, more details will be coming soon on how patients can connect via their MyMercy accounts. Patients can also reach out to their local Mercy Clinic for information.

Dedicated Care Areas

Mercy is setting up dedicated care areas in five clinic locations across the Oklahoma City metro area to keep those needing care with suspected respiratory illnesses separate from other patients. These clinics will be in Edmond, Norman, Moore, Kingfisher and Yukon. We will also add locations in Ada and Ardmore.

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. Patients will need to contact their local Mercy provider first to be cared for in these clinics.

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 patient’s answers within the assessment.

Restricted Visitors

To protect patients, co-workers and the community, Mercy expanded visitor restrictions 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 the community and our patients.

News Coverage:

Learn more about these efforts in media coverage from KFOR and KOCO.