Editor’s note: In the following letter, Paul Stefanacci, MD, FACS, MBA, vice president, quality and chief medical officer, acute care division, Universal Health Services, Inc., shared with The Journal of Healthcare Contracting what UHS was doing at press time to leverage its resources and collaborate with federal, state and local health authorities.
As healthcare providers, we fulfill a critical mission in society. And as the novel coronavirus creates unprecedented challenges nationwide, we are continuing to provide the best possible healthcare across our served communities. Our hospitals are collaborating with each other for best-practice sharing and leveraging the resources we share as an organization.
We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and with local health authorities. We are actively taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff members, and to help reduce the spread of the virus in our regions. Specifically:
- We are in daily communication with all clinical workers to share updated guidelines/protocols. Providing updated training to ensure we can ramp up quickly.
- Taking temperatures daily; reporting symptoms, as appropriate. Using isolation, when warranted.
- Alternate, external screening locations for the Coronavirus have been set up away from the main EDs to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors and allow for patient access for other emergency conditions.
- We have suspended visitation, with limited exceptions. We are screening all individuals upon entering the facility. We are monitoring patients for any symptoms and implementing isolation protocols, if needed.
- We are scaling telehealth to continue to provide care.
- All volunteers have been asked to temporarily suspend their scheduled times at the hospital, for their own safety as well as that of patients, as we mitigate the risks of community spread.
Our Supply Chain team is continuing to source for necessary supplies and equipment, including actively seeking alternate supplier channels. UHS Supply Chain is working daily with customers, distributors, and manufacturers to manage our supply needs across the organization. We have established tracking, reporting and have daily calls with our internal customers to ensure their needs are being met. We are redeploying supplies to facilities who are experiencing unusually high spikes in volumes. We are reminding our hospitals of the importance of conservation of supplies, especially PPE. We are utilizing corporate resources across the enterprise to manage consistency and information flow during this evolving situation.
Paul Stefanacci, MD, FACS, MBA is Vice President, Quality and Chief Medical Officer for the Acute Care Division of Universal Health Services, Inc. Dr. Stefanacci provides UHS with the clinical leadership to face the challenges of the rapidly evolving healthcare environment and advance an ambitious quality and performance improvement agenda.