MedStar and the EMS agencies within the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority system are modifying on-scene procedures for patients assessed with low-acuity medical complaints who are identified as potentially COVID-19 related.
Patients will receive a full assessment by on scene by EMS personnel. If the patient has signs and symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 but does not have any priority conditions or significant risk factors, the patient will be informed that they do not require ambulance transportation to an Emergency Department, MedStar said in a community announcement.
The patient will be instructed to contact his or her primary care provider and provided with information on home care and self-monitoring instructions.
Further, the patient will be given information on how to undergo further evaluation and testing, as indicated, for COVID-19 through the community health system processes available.
MedStar said these modifications are being implemented for the following reasons:
– Assure patients receive the proper care, in the most appropriate setting.
– Reduce the risk of patients being exposed to contagious illnesses.
– Help assure essential hospital services are available for critical patients.
MedStar earlier announced that employees entering its facility are undergoing a monitored health screening, including a health questionnaire and temperature reading, facilitated through an electronic process which allows MedStar to keep detailed logs of the screenings.
This includes all field EMTs and paramedics, at the start of every shift.
A special wrist band, color coded for the day, will be placed on employees who pass the health screening, with “COVID Screened,” along with the date and time of the screening.
In the event the employee does not pass the health screening, an electronic notification is immediately sent to MedStar’s Management Team, and the monitor will not allow the employee to enter the building, nor will they be allowed to work, MedStar said.
This same process will be used for all visitors wishing to enter MedStar’s facilities.
“Our hope is that this pre-screening process will alleviate any concerns you and our mutual patients may have regarding the health status of MedStar employees entering your facilities,” MedStar said.
– FWBP Staff