JPS team members have worked night and day to prepare for the COVID-19 virus.
While a lot has gone on behind the scenes, the most visible part of their preparation is a big, orange tent that appeared Friday outside of the main entrance to the Patient Pavilion.
Lance Lynch, Director of Emergency Management said the temporary structure is a “screening tent” where people coming to the hospital who raise red flags during the COVID-19 screening process can be taken for further analysis by a healthcare provider.
“In the tent, they’ll visit with a provider either in person or in a telehealth situation through an iPad to determine if they need to go inside for further treatment or if they’ll go home,” Lynch said. “It should take about 15 minutes once they’re inside the tent. It will be very quick.”
Chris Cook, Manager of the Emergency Department, said putting these plans in place required team members from all over the health network to pitch in.
“It took a lot of work from a lot of people to get to this point, a great team effort,” Cook said, mentioning Emergency Department team members who brainstormed and planned, nurses who work screening stations and maintenance workers who had to remove benches and install traffic barricades to set up the screening process. “This is a challenging situation. But our people have risen to the challenge. I believe we are very well prepared to do our jobs.”
Jesse DeWaard, Executive Director of Emergency Services and Emergency Management, said JPS leaders prepare for unusual circumstances regularly, drilling for everything from natural disasters to emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak. He said the practice has paid off.
“It builds confidence to practice and I have all the confidence in our team,” DeWaard said. “This is what we prepared for. So, it’s very inspiring to see everyone jump into action.”