Hudson Headwaters Health Network and Glens Falls Hospital Implement a Coordinated Response to Prevent the Spread of COVID19
Hudson Headwaters and Glens Falls Hospital are working together in an “all-hands on deck” coordinated response to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Glens Falls region.
Since the COVID-19 testing began outside the hospital Emergency Department (ED) more than 500 COVID-19 tests were completed in a joint effort between the two organizations. 68 more were tested Wednesday at Hudson Headwaters West Mountain Health Services, Building 2 in Queensbury. Patients who met the criteria for coronavirus (fever over 100, cough and chest congestion), were given a “testing prescription” and directed to go to Glens Falls Hospital to have their tests completed. Dr. Tucker Slingerland, CEO at Hudson Headwaters, said, “More than half of the patients we’ve tested in the last week were positive for the flu, so we’ve been able to send less patients to Glens Falls Hospital, which has made our limited testing supplies last longer.” Hudson Headwaters nursing staff has provided support at the Glens Falls Hospital testing tent site and shared PPE (personal protective equipment).
“The bulk of the testing for our region is happening right outside our doors, and of course the ED team has been going 24/7/365 as always. By keeping the testing outside of the hospital and ensuring that only the sickest patients enter the ED, we help to reduce the possibility of community spread,” according to Dianne Shugrue, President and CEO of Glens Falls Hospital. “We are grateful for the assistance and support from HHHN. We make a good team”
Senior medical leadership at both organizations have been in continuous communication to discuss how to best adapt to new scenarios, including possible staffing shortages. To help mitigate this risk, both organizations are limiting many non-essential health services. Medical staff from Hudson Headwaters are anticipating possibly needing to be redeployed to areas where they are needed the most, including Glens Falls Hospital.
“It is so important at a time like this that the community understands the cooperation, and the extraordinary effort, being put forth by both organizations. The physicians, the nurses, and all the good people who support them are true heroes. I could not be prouder of them all in both organizations,” said Glens Falls Hospital President and CEO Dianne Shugrue.
“Quickly adapting and implementing new systems has been key to tackling the early stage of this new pandemic,” Slingerland said. “One positive to come out of this, is how our two organizations have been able to work together to meet a community need without needing to wait for state or federal resources. However, we do need outside support to ensure we can continue to have the necessary viral swabs and test kits, as well as PPE, and we are working urgently with elected officials, suppliers and hospital partners to obtain them.”