Southwest Nashville | June 2020

SOUTHWEST NASHVILLE EDITION 2020 HEALTHCARE EDITION

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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3  JUNE 20JULY 24, 2020

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4 RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

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CONTINUING CARE DURING COVID19 Local health care providers are worried that the COVID-19 outbreak is keeping people experiencing symptoms of life-threatening health conditions away from emergency rooms.

Coronavirus eects on the health care industry continue Area hospitals see drop in emergency visits, expand telehealth reach in pandemic

There are some signs and symptoms of medical emergencies for which patients should always seek immediate treatment, according to health ocials. WHEN TO SEEK EMERGENCY CARE

Diculty breathing or shortness of breath

Diculty speaking

Chest or upper abdominal pressure or pain

Sudden or severe pain

Confusion

“MANY TIMES, SYMPTOMS CAN FLUCTUATE, ANDUNLESS THEYARE REALLY INTENSE AND SEVERE, PEOPLE FORGO SEEKINGHELP FOR THOSE IMMEDIATELYNOW IN LIGHT OF THIS PANDEMIC. ... IF YOUHAVE THOSE SYMPTOMS, IT’S TIME TO COME BACKANDRECEIVE THE CARE THAT YOUNEED.”

BY DYLAN SKYE AYCOCK

As health care systems nationwide adapt to ongo- ing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals in Southwest Nashville are working to ensure patients continue to receive emergency and preventive care. Hospitals in Nashville and statewide are see- ing record numbers of patients through telehealth and other services, but physicians are nding that patients are slow in returning to emergency rooms— or, in some cases, avoiding care altogether. Nearly 45% of adults in Tennessee surveyed in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey reported delayingmedical care between April 23-May 26 because of COVID-19. While the survey does not specify whether resi- dents have postponed emergency care, physicians at TriStar Centennial and Ascension Saint Thomas said they have seen a sharp decrease in the number of patients seeking emergency services since the start of the pandemic. As of early June, hospitals had yet to see a return to the level of ambulance trac they were experiencing before coronavirus hit the region in March. “Emergency room visits have not rebounded back to the pre-COVID levels,” said Dr. Chris Jones, chief of sta at TriStar Centennial. “We’re seeing an CONTINUED ON 16

DR. GREG JAMES, ASCENSION SAINT THOMAS CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER

Hospitals in Southwest Nashville have safety protocols in place to help prevent infection. WHAT TO EXPECT UPON ARRIVAL

Masks must be worn inside facilities.

Patients and visitors will be screened for symptoms.

Waiting room chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart.

Visitation restrictions may be in place.

“WE USE ENHANCEDPRECAUTIONS NOWFOR EVERY PATIENT THAT COMES IN. FOR EXAMPLE, IF I CAME INWITH CHEST PAIN, ... IT’S STILL POSSIBLE IT COULDBE BOTH COVID19ANDAHEART ATTACK. WE ASSUME THAT EACHPATIENT COULDHAVE COVID19, AND INDOING SO, WE AVOIDANYRISKOF CONTAMINATIONAND SPREAD.”

DR. CHRIS JONES, TRISTAR CENTENNIAL CHIEF OF STAFF

SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ASCENSION SAINT THOMAS, TRISTAR CENTENNIAL, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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