OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mercy is making changes in its clinics and hospitals to protect patients and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City changes:
Emergency department triage
Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City has opened a triage area in front of the main ER entrance to screen all patients who present to the ER with any symptoms. A triage nurse will quickly assess the reason for a patient’s visit and if COVID-19 is suspected, the patient will be isolated and routed to a designated area in the emergency department separate from other patients
Mercy has built an overflow area for eight additional patients if the number of patients visiting the ER with COVID-19 symptoms becomes unmanageable.
These changes have been made to prepare for a possible influx of patients with more severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Mercy still has limited testing resources. Patients with mild symptoms are encouraged to stay home and call their primary care provider.
Mercy Clinic changes:
Mercy clinics across Oklahoma have expanded technological capabilities and have the state’s first secure, HIPAA compliant virtual visits for both new and established patients. For outpatient visits, more details will be coming soon on how patients can connect via their MyMercy accounts. Patients can also reach out to their local Mercy Clinic for information.
Dedicated care areas
Mercy is setting up dedicated care areas in five clinic locations across the Oklahoma City metro area to keep those needing care with suspected respiratory illnesses separate from other patients. These clinics will be in Edmond, Norman, Moore, Kingfisher and Yukon. Mercy will also add locations in Ada and Ardmore.
These areas have been designed to better re-purpose Mercy’s doctors, nurses and other co-workers with the goal of protecting the health of everyone. Patients will need to contact their local Mercy provider first to be cared for in these clinics.
Online risk assessment
Mercy is creating an online risk assessment to help patients understand if they need to be tested for COVID-19 based on their current symptoms and risk factors. Following the assessment, the patient will be provided with instruction on next best steps based on the patient’s answers within the assessment.
To protect patients, co-workers and the community, Mercy expanded visitor restrictions Monday, March 23. No visitors will be allowed in the hospital with limited exceptions.
Officials with Mercy say they “apologize for any inconvenience and hope everyone understands the need for these restrictions to protect the community and our patients.”