CHILLICOTHE – Adena Health System Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) Kirk Tucker, MD is here to tell patients not to delay or put off seeking any type of health care for fear or worry about contracting coronavirus. Adena, like other hospitals and health systems nationwide, is a safe place to come for care.
“If there is one message I could stress to members of our communities right now, it would be that Adena is a safe place to return for their health care needs,” Tucker said. “I understand as businesses and restaurants begin to open up there is going to be a hesitation to return for many. But when it involves your health care, I want to assure people that our hospitals, health centers and clinics have the right policies and procedures in place, and we have the highest of standards and quality to safely care for those in our region.”
He added, “Statistically across the country, we are seeing dramatic trends that show the number of emergency department patients presenting with heart attacks and strokes are down by as much as 50 percent. What this tells me is, people are not seeking out the care they need for these serious conditions or others when they are experiencing symptoms like chest pains, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, bleeding or headaches. It concerns me very much.”
Dr. Tucker said people will be impressed when they come to any Adena location and witness the level of safety measures and guidelines that have been instituted towards patient and visitor safety. He is quick to say that in its return to fuller operations, all of Adena’s decisions have patient safety in mind.
“I like to compare our approach to a dimmer switch,” Tucker said. “We are not going to just flick a switch and be back to normal. We are taking a slow and thoughtful path to ensure the safety and protection for everyone – patients, visitors and our staff. We follow all recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health. Anyone entering an Adena facility has their temperature checked and they are asked a series of questions about recent travel history or exposure. They are also handed a mask if they need one. We have redesigned many of our hospital and clinic spaces to allow for proper social distancing, and we have instituted enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the System.”
Dr. Tucker looks at Adena’s new safety protocols as almost having a hospital within a hospital. Patients suffering from any respiratory illness are identified, many times before they enter the doors, and can be safely cared for in areas separate from other patients, maximizing the safety and protection of all patients and visitors.
“Adena is safe, but you don’t have to just take my word for it,” he added. “Adena Regional Medical Center earned a national ‘A’ hospital safety rating from The Leapfrog Group for Spring 2020. This grade is reflective of Adena’s safety policies and processes. It compares us with other hospitals and health systems across the U.S., so patients can make the best health care decision for themselves.”
Tucker concluded, “If you have a health care need that has gone unaddressed for the past 90 days, please reach out to your primary care provider or present yourself to one of the ERs in our region. Patients should be confident in seeking health care and in trusting Adena.”
For more about Adena Health System’s enhanced cleaning and facility safety procedures, visit adena.org/TakingEveryPrecaution.