The North Central Regional Health Authority held an emergency meeting last night, after a “record breaking wave of patients requiring COVID-19 testing and care engulfed the system”.
In a statement issued today, CEO Davlin Thomas says the Authority has increasingly had to boost its capacity to treat with the recent 300% increase in the positive cases, with a simultaneous and exponential increase in the demand for COVID-19 testing.
He adds that the NCRHA is adapting and rolling out interventions to mitigate challenges.
Among the measures being taken:
- Adapt inherent capacity to test at quicker rate.
- Use of inherent ambulance systems to support GMRTT to facilitate quicker inter-hospital
transfer of patients to COVID-19 facilities.
- More stringent barrier systems to segregate COVID-19 patients from other patients.
- Additional toilet facilities have been installed at the Chaguanas District Health Facility and the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex to accommodate the increased influx. Male and female patient only toilet facilities will be segregated to ensure there is no mixing of COVID-19 patients with other patients. Patient comfort and safety remains a high priority of the NCRHA.
- Additional signage has been installed at COVID-19 testing sites to prevent suspected patients from intermingling with regular patients and the general public. This, in addition to present directional signage and instructional signage, is aimed at ensuring patient safety and adherence to public guidelines and protocols.
- New patient trolleys have been added to the system.
- Tent facilities are furnished with sanitization stations, dedicated doffing and donning areas, breathable structure lining for unobstructed airflow and aerosol dilution to mitigate nosocomial infections, ply flooring and seating in adherence with COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing. They are also fully outfitted with electrical and plumbing capabilities and contain fully stocked and functional resuscitation room equipped with crash cart, oxygen and defibrillator.
- Security personnel have been enhanced to ensure that there is no breaching of this arrangement. Visitors are strictly prohibited from entering COVID-19 suspected and confirmed positive patient areas.
- In addition to the infrastructure, customer service ambassadors are stationed at each area to assist members of the public and/or relatives in their daily throughput. For patients, patient care assistants are assigned to their areas to specifically ensure that all patients are well attended to, cleaned and treated.