6 Things CoVID-19 Changed at BCMH That Won’t Go Away in 2021
These Advancements at Bates County Memorial Hospital Were Changes for Good
The COVID-19 pandemic created many changes in 2020. At Bates County Memorial Hospital, several changes were made in addition to our protocols in response to the pandemic. These changes greatly enhanced infection prevention at our facilities for our patients, staff and community – changes for good that will remain in place in 2021, and most likely for years to come.
BCMH recently obtained a ventilator at no cost to the hospital. Michael Behringer, RRT, Director of Respiratory Therapy and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, completed a grant application for the ventilator from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The ventilator is a military-grade Hamilton T1 Ventilator, a multifunctional unit able to perform bi-pap and C-pap, in addition to ventilation. It’s the same model the hospital purchased last month for the Emergency Room, making a total of four ventilators at the hospital.
The Novatek Novair 1000 Air Scrubber is an air filtration system appropriate for use in hospitals and industrial settings. BCMH purchased its first air scrubber unit to prepare for reopening after quarantine in May of 2020. The air scrubber is being used in various departments throughout the hospital, including inpatient rooms, respiratory, speech and physical therapy, and other areas as needed. The BCMH board of directors approved the purchase of five additional air scrubber units, currently on back order.
The hospital purchased thermal scanners for each entry point at the hospital, including employee entrances, and for each of the four Family Care Clinic locations. This makes a convenient, quick way to make sure all who enter hospital and clinic facilities are screened for possible elevated temperature.
BCMH purchased five portable decontamination units made by AeroClave to decrease cross-contamination. Decontamination units, which act as a final step to the deep clean process, emit a fine mist using Vital Oxide, a non-toxic, non-corrosive disinfectant. After an activation and drying period, surfaces are safe with no wiping down, and are disinfected and ready for the next patient. This process is extremely safe for patients and staff, and eliminates the CoVID-19 virus, as well as many other diseases, like Staphylococcus, MERS, SARS, Ebola, and other multi-drug resistant organisms. The units are portable and are being used in various departments in the hospital.
BioFire FilmArray – Laboratory
In October the hospital laboratory installed a new instrument to help in the fight against CoVID-19. The Biofire FilmArray 2.0 is a laboratory instrument used to detect CoVID-19 and 21 other respiratory pathogens from one patient sample. The FilmArray instrument uses PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology to provide reliable results in a short amount of time.
From the manufacturer: “Now authorized by the FDA through an Emergency Use Authorization, the BioFire RP2.1-EZ Panel uses a syndromic approach to accurately detect and identify a wide range of pathogens—including SARS-CoV-2. The panel identifies a menu of 19 respiratory targets in one multiplex PCR test, with results in about 45 minutes.”
Additional Negative Pressure Rooms
To properly isolate respiratory patients, and in response to an influx of additional respiratory patients, BCMH remodeled for additional negative pressure rooms in 2020, with more slated for 2021. The function of a negative pressure room is to create several complete air exchanges to reduce the high concentration of respiratory particles in the air. In November, two patient rooms were converted to negative pressure rooms, making a total of four on the inpatient floor. In 2021, the Emergency Room will undergo remodeling for two additional negative pressure rooms, making a total of three negative pressure rooms in the emergency department.
Throughout 2020, our team has worked hard to fight this pandemic. With increased cases of CoVID-19 in our community, our situation is as challenging as it has ever been, but the advancements that have been put into place have worked to enhance our safety and efficiency on all levels.