City of Plantation Podcast

Episode 27 - Plantation Area Hospitals - CEO's Updates

November 09, 2020 City of Plantation Episode 27
City of Plantation Podcast
Episode 27 - Plantation Area Hospitals - CEO's Updates
Show Notes Transcript

Thank you for listening to the City of Plantation's Podcast. In this episode, Cary and I have the pleasure of speaking to Barbara Simmons and Madeline Nava from Westside Regional Hospital and Plantation General Hospital, respectively. Barbara and Madeline have come back a few months later to give us an update on the state of their respective hospitals, while they mitigate the COVID threat and remind everyone to seek early medical attention for a variety of medical conditions. This Podcast is aimed at keeping the residents of Plantation informed of events and important information happening throughout our city. Please subscribe to this podcast, as we will be producing new episodes weekly.

Guests: Barbara Simmons / Madeline Nava
Hosts: Cary Blanchard and Ezra Lubow
Music: Oakwood Station
Graphics: City of Plantation

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the city of plantations podcast. I am Carrie Blanchard, battalion chief of public affairs for the plantation fire department. Thank you for tuning in our podcast is designed to keep you up-to-date on all the latest happenings and activities in about and around the city of plantation on our episodes. We talk directly with the leaders decision makers and the movers and shakers who make plantation the great city that it is

Speaker 2:

Welcome back to another episode of the city of plantations podcast. Carrie and I are pleased to have with us today, the CEO of Westside regional medical center, Barbara Simmons, as well as the CEO of plantation general hospital, Madeline Nava. We asked both of these fine directors of our local medical centers to come in and give us an update from the last podcast that we had, where they gave us the current situation with COVID in the hospital and staffing and concerns. And we brought all that information to you. So we asked these ladies to come in and join us today and kind of give us an update of where we're at now, a few months later. So thank you both for joining us.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Pleasure to be here. Thank you. Okay, so it's now been several months since we last spoke. Can you update our listeners and tell us about the status of the hospital as it relates to the COVID pandemic? Barbara started with you. So we have seen a small bump up in cases, but nothing like we saw in July. Um , for instance, today we only have 11 positives in the hospital. I think the big difference is the acuity of the patients. Now we only have three patients in the ICU right now, where if you recall, back in July, we had three ICU full of COVID positive patients. So pretty significant difference there, we continue to follow all the CDC guidelines. Um, you know, our ERs are safe or operating business as usual from a surgery perspective, masking hand-washing social distancing, continue to be the mantra of the day, continue to be the mantra of the day. All right , Madeline and PGH. Yeah. And similar to what Barb has said, we saw a slight uptick. We currently have seven patients in house, but nothing compared to what we saw in July. Um, it is a younger patient population that we're seeing though. Uh , fortunately enough, no pediatric patients at this point in time, although we've seen them from time to time , uh, to Barb's point, definitely less acute patients that are coming in , uh, diagnosed , um, some need to be admitted, but most go home to quarantine and recover. Okay. That's good. I think people are still uneasy about going to hospitals. I know you had just mentioned about the procedures and the things that the safety precautions that you're taking. Can you tell us specifically what it is you guys are doing to keep the people safe? Your employees saved the , so everybody visitors, patients , um, employees gets a screening every single morning. Um, we get temperature checks. Um, if anybody has a fever they're sent home. Um, so we continue to follow that and we have for these months now , um , hand hygiene, we continue to focus on hand hygiene masking, universal masking. So everybody that gets a temperature check also gets handed a mask. So nobody's allowed in the building without a mask on. So we feel like masking is the number one thing we can do to prevent the spread of COVID and, or the flu it's flu season now, and then washing hands. All right , Madeline. Sure. So, you know, since we went through the second wave in July, I think we really have it hardwired . So rigorous precautions around safety, our staff, get it, they're all mass . They get screened every morning. Uh , they know not to report for duty if they feel ill or have any symptoms at all, our visitors and our patients are all screened as well. Uh, so I think that , um, everything is really hardwired at this point, since we've been through this two times and the hand washing is , is the most important thing that in our staff know that they can do a social distancing is also key. And we have not let up on those rigorous and precautions that we're taking. So all of our chairs and our waiting areas are distance. We've limited our visitors at this point in time to one page, a one visitor per day, still so that we can keep the facility flowing and not have crowds in any one place.

Speaker 2:

Excellent. And this next question is kind of goes hand in hand with the video that we recently did with , uh, with Westside regional and, and you Barb, where we kind of talked about the fact that people are, are delaying care, but I want to pose this question to both of you, people, we know people are still waiting too long and people with strokes, heart attacks, even COVID symptoms, they're , they're still a little tentative about going to the hospital. How do we get that message out and , and make them feel secure that the hospital is the place to be for these situations to get the care that they need right away. Barbara .

Speaker 1:

So , um, thank you for asking that question because you're absolutely right. We have seen a delay in care from you to stroke, heart attack , um, even abdominal pain, which sounds kind of peculiar, but patients are waiting. So by the time they get there, it's much more severe their condition than if they had come earlier. So in the ER , right now we continue to segregate any COVID positive or suspected COVID positive patient. Um, continue the rigorous masking hand hygiene. Um, one of the things we've implemented is we have rapid COVID testing. So we actually don't allow patients out of the ER until they've been tested. So that minimizes the risk of any exposure once they leave the ER. Um, so they stay in the ER until their test results come back. Then we know what's the appropriate placement for those patients. So that has really helped us minimize exposure in the facility , um, visitors as well. Um, as Madeline said, we are continuing to limit visitors to just one visitor per patient. So we continue to focus on keeping the patients and our staff safe. Um, I do have to say, please, if you do need care, don't because there's care and procedures, medications that we can supply, but if you wait too long and you're outside the window for us to be able to take care of you, you can have more devastating effects from a stroke for instance, or a heart attack.

Speaker 2:

Right ? Absolutely. Madeline ,

Speaker 1:

I would just add to that, you know, we have a pediatric patient population and to Barb's point , um, when we do see parents delay the children that come into the ER, they're very high acuity, so it is important. And our pediatric ER, is segregated from the adult. We also do testing. Um, so we would want parents to know that it is safe. If you feel that your child is ill and you need to seek emergency care don't delay.

Speaker 2:

Right. Absolutely. And I think Carrie and I, our messaging from the fire department is , uh , call nine one one early , uh, get us started, let us do an assessment and , uh, and take you over to the hospital and get that treatment because just to echo what Barb said, a lot of these conditions, strokes, heart attacks , uh, time is of the essence in order to get the appropriate intervention and medications on board . Correct. So, all right . So we know there's been a surge in cases, especially over the last couple of weeks and , uh, looking at the bar graph it's way up one day and then way down the next day. But the general trend seems to be upwards. What is the public doing or not doing in your minds that is contributing to this and what can they do to stop it

Speaker 1:

It's really. And when we say it, I don't know how many more times we can say it. It's all about wearing your mask whenever you're outside your home hand, washing hand, washing hand washing, and then social distancing. Um , it's really imperative that we follow those guidelines that the CDC has provided. So we can minimize contact.

Speaker 2:

Madeline will understand ,

Speaker 1:

You know, you hear a lot about COVID fatigue and , uh, the public not wanting to mask and, you know, wanting to get together. But the reality is the more people are clustered together. And if you're not wearing your mask, you're more susceptible to come down with the virus. So again, it really is, even though we're all tired , um , wearing our mask and making sure that we are maintaining social distancing, those are, I think are the biggest things in addition to hand washing, if you're exposed to, you know, when you're touching doors and such, but that really is the key, it's those three things. And I know that everybody's tired, but it's so important to help us to just mitigate the spread of the virus.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I think , uh , we have, our messaging has remained consistent, but we continue to interact with people who, you know, say things like, well, yeah, I was in a crowd , uh, and I was right on top of people, but I have my mask on, or I was 10 feet away from a group of people and I didn't wear a mask. And what we're trying to do from the fire department's perspective is impress upon people that it is a combination of all three, right? Good hygiene, distancing, and a mask. If you remove one of those components, you increase the risk. Would , would you both agree with that?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Yeah. Um, I know, unfortunately here we are at this time of the year it's flu season , um, you know, we've been hearing about the COVID situation being exacerbated by the flu season. Can you speak to that in your hospital? I know that you had mentioned it a few minutes ago, Madeline. Yeah. So , um, interestingly enough, we haven't seen any uptick in the flu yet. You know, flu season starts in October. Everybody hopefully got their vaccine. Um, but we are anticipating that as we enter the holidays, November, December, we will see an uptake in the flu. The reality is that if you do come down with the flu and you get COVID on top of that, it definitely exacerbates it and will definitely increase , uh, you know, the , um, the illness. So the important thing is to get the flu shot again, to help, to minimize the effects. Should you come down with the virus as well as the flu? So it's really important to get a flu shot. We've been encouraging our staff to get it . It's really important to get the flu shot , um , flu and COVID have very similar presentation, as you know, and as Madeline said, if you get both of them, it can be a lot more severe cases. So what does that mean to us in the healthcare industry? If you're the sicker, the more sicker the patient and the more high likelihood of hospitalization or even an ICU hospitalization. So we wanted to make sure that we don't run the risk of running out of Haas , ICU beds, hospital beds , um, because of the severity of the illness. So it's really important to get your flu shots. Yeah . I mean, I guess we just can't stress enough how important this particular year is to get the flu shot. You know, we always say it's important, but this year I think it's, it absolutely is. And if you're listening to the news and the medical experts, they are encouraging the same. And I th I think it's, it's great that you're doing this. It's important too , because a lot of people say, well, I don't need a flu shot. I'm wearing a mask, not true, not true. You really do need to get your flu shot

Speaker 2:

Well, and I think we forget that. So I think the scientific community has established that the more, most likely way of transmitting COVID is through respiratory droplets, blah, blah, blah. But there is also other ways to contract it and transmit it. And so that full spectrum approach, right, good hygiene mask, distancing is going to serve the needs for flu chance mission

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] absolutely.

Speaker 2:

And protect us. So I think we , um, we touched upon the hospitals, allowing visitors to see their family members. I think you're doing that, but you've scaled it back in order to maintain the safety and security of visitors and patients and staff as well. I'm sure we've been at this now for, for a pretty long time, right? Over seven months, we've been dealing with this. How are your people holding up? How are they doing? Uh , I'm sure this is taking a, on your staffing. I'm sure this has taken a toll on , on the morale. You know, how are they doing? They're the frontline workers that are dealing with COVID patients every single day. And then I think we forget that not only are they dealing with an influx of COVID patients, but they're dealing with all the other patients we typically deal with. So how are they doing?

Speaker 1:

It's ironic that I'm here today because I just left our nursing residency graduation. So these are brand new nurses that just completed their nursing residency and to see the resilience in them, the comradery, the collaboration, it's just heartwarming to see. Cause we, you know, nobody asked to be dropped into the middle of a pandemic and they all know none of us ever expected it and they have come together. The staff has come together, they've taken care of each other. They take care of our patients. Um, HCA , the company that we work for has also done a lot to help them we've set up hotlines, employee assistance programs so that they all feel that they have somebody they can call upon if they need it in addition to each other. So we feel like we are so proud. Um, and I'm sure Madeline would agree too . We are so proud of our staff at the hospitals in how resilient they've been and how they've all come together to take care of this community and each other. Absolutely. And again, as Bob said, I am personally so proud of the PGH team. They've done a phenomenal job. It has been certainly trying the last seven, eight months, and now they thought that potentially we may see another, another spike, but they are very comfortable with the PPE and donning and doffing and taking care of these patients since we've been doing it for such a long time. And they really have pulled together as a team plantation in general has a great culture and our folks work so well together. But , um, the teamwork is phenomenal. And if anything, it's pulled them closer together , uh, having gone through the pandemic, but they've just done a phenomenal job. I can't say enough about how proud I am.

Speaker 2:

That's excellent. Yeah. I mean, the, one of the things that Carrie and I talk about when we talk about departmentally is what an amazing relationship we have with both of the hospitals in our city. And we really see it as a partnership and both Westside regional and plantation have been very supportive of our people. We try to do the same. And , and , uh , so I think we, you know, we work together as a team and we lift each other up when we need to. And, you know, I think, I think we're getting through it. Ultimately

Speaker 1:

I agree. It is a great part. It always has been for as many years as I've been here, it's been a great partnership and relationship with the city, with fire EMS police. It's really always been a great partnership that I know I can call upon you. And you know, you can call upon me anytime you need to. Right . It's great that we work together collaboratively. I want to just give bad props . I know I said it last time too , those frontline workers, I know they've got to be exhausted and we certainly appreciate everything that they do for the community as a whole. So thank you. And thank, thank you very well. Okay. So I think that kind of sums up everything. We've got an update on everything that's going on currently, since we last spoke in July. So again, I want to thank you both. Um , Barbara Simmons, CEO of Westside , regional Madeline Nava , CEO of plantation general. Thank you ladies. Again for being here. Really appreciate you taking the time. I know you ladies are busy. Thank you everyone for listening. Stay safe. Remember to wear your PPE, wear your mask, wash your hands and maintain physical distancing. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. You've been listening to the city

Speaker 3:

Plantation podcast. We strive to bring you accurate and timely information. Please continue to tune in to our podcast episodes and also catch up with us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and next door. If you have questions, send them to ask [email protected] and we will answer your questions directly. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our podcast and stay safe, everyone.