OWOSSO (WJRT) (03/24/2020) - In Mid-Michigan, hospitals are trying to stay ahead of the curve.
A couple weeks ago, Memorial Healthcare in Owosso set up an alternate care site to help eliminate other illnesses like strep throat or the flu. By doing that, it's taking pressure off of their emergency room and urgent care centers.
Now, they're taking even more measures to make the hospital bigger and better. Instead of just eliminating illnesses like the flu, they want to test for COVID-19 in house.
"We hope to see within the next two days at the most in-house testing capability. We have the equipment. It's installed. It's in place. We're simply now waiting to receive the necessary test median to be able to facilitate that internal," Brian Long said. Long is the CEO and President of Memorial Healthcare.
Since launching the alternate care site on March 14 at 8:00 a.m., Long says they've evaluated 589 patients in their Alternate Care Site.
In addition to the alternate care site, they also set up a new acute respiratory care floor, which essentially means more room for 14 more in-patient beds in case they're reaching capacity.
Starting Tuesday, they're also expanding their telemedicine, so instead of calling a physician traditionally over the phone.
Patients can now engage in a video conference, and after their onsite testing for COVID-19 comes into operation in the next couple days, they still have more plans to get bigger and better.
"We would like to begin looking at things like drive thru testing that some other facilities have. The ability to maintain the level of testing kits and the turnaround is right now preventing us from doing that," Long said.
Long says if you're dealing with mild to moderate flu like symptoms, they encourage you to get tested at their Alternate Care Site to rule out other illnesses.
If your symptoms are more severe, proceed to your local emergency department.