Capital Health has set up a new system to prescreen walk-in patients at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton and Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell before they enter the hospital.
Trailers have been set up outside of the hospital to evaluate and identify those who are infected with the coronavirus before they enter the hospital in order to protect other patients and hospital staff.
Upon arrival at the hospitals, patients will be met by a clinical greeter who will assess their condition. Patients with a respiratory illness will be evaluated by specially trained staff in the trailers next to the emergency department. All other patients will be evaluated in standard emergency department facilities.
“As an added safety measure during the current health crisis, patients coming to our emergency departments will be screened before entering,” said Dr. Louis D’Amelio, vice president of clinical performance at Capital Health. “From there, we will either bring them into the hospital or the new treatment area based on the urgency of their condition or illness. After that, patients who require the resources inside of our hospital will be brought in as necessary.”
Patients who are tested for COVID-19 at Capital Health are kept in isolation. Capital Health representatives said staff members caring for the patients wear protective equipment to limit the spread of the virus, and that any material or equipment they come in contact with is rigorously disinfected. This protocol is the same that would be used for a patient who tests positive for COVID-19 or the flu.
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Some symptoms are similar to the common cold, flu or allergies. If you’re not feeling well, start by contacting your primary care provider for instructions to be screened for appropriate testing. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.