Thursday, March 26, 2020

Muskogee Hospital sets up triage tent adjacent to ER to process potential COVID-19 patients

Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee Update to COVID-19 Response

(Muskogee, Oklahoma) As a part of the ongoing preparation and response to COVID-19 in the area, Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee has set up a triage tent adjacent to its emergency department in order to assess patients presenting with emergent COVID-19 symptoms or acute respiratory illness. By doing this, the hospital aims to minimize the number of potentially infectious patients entering the facility without appropriate personal protective equipment.

“We want to keep all of our patients and staff safe and reduce their exposure to COVID-19,” said Michele Keeling, senior vice president and administrator of Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee. “In order to do this we are directing all patients seeking emergency treatment to proceed directly to the tent.” This process will start at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 26.

The external triage area provides the hospital the ability to physically distance patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 symptoms from those coming to the emergency room for other serious medical issues such as stroke, chest pain and trauma. As patients are assessed in the triage area and their level of severity is determined, they will be appropriately masked and escorted into the facility in a manner that minimizes exposure to others.

“I want to make sure that I’m clear, this tent is not a walk-in clinic or public testing site—it is an extension of the emergency department. If you do not need emergency care, please do not come to the hospital. Instead, call your primary care physician first for guidance,” said Keeling. “The presence of this tent should not cause any unnecessary anxiety. It does not mean that we are unable to handle the volume of patients coming to the hospital. It is only a sign that we are doing everything within our power to keep our patients and staff safe.”

The hospital continues to respond to the needs of the community during this time of increased public concern. “Our role in this pandemic is to be prepared and ready to care for our community,” said Kim Walton, RN, director of acute care services.

Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee has posted information via which includes important links to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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