Hospital Capacity Update as COVID Cases Continue to Grow

Hospital Capacity Update as COVID Cases Continue to Grow

 Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon continues to offer most all services even during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In light of the governor’s recent proclamation, the hospital is still providing outpatient care, along with urgent and emergency surgeries.  The only current change is inpatient surgical care.

“Surgeries are being evaluated based on our daily inpatient census and according to the current guidelines set by the governor,” states Michael Coyle, Veterans Memorial Hospital CEO.  “We need to be sure we have enough beds for our COVID patients that need to be hospitalized, so if we are busier, we may need to postpone some surgeries that would require the patient to remain hospitalized as an inpatient for a few days following.”

Veterans Memorial Hospital officials monitor their available COVID beds daily, reporting to the State of Iowa. This continuous communication allows all area hospitals to know where beds are open in the case they need admit a patient at a different hospital.

“We meet twice a week to evaluate our available beds, our testing supplies, our personal protective equipment inventory and our staffing.  If we need to amend our services based on one of these factors, we are ready to do so,” stated Karen Mathis, Chief Nursing Operator at Veterans Memorial Hospital.  “We have a COVID Surge Department Plan that we refer to many times a day as our patient census goes up or down, so we know what we need to do when and if our numbers do rise.”

The hospital takes the highest precautions with each and every patient to keep them safe, including leaving appropriate time between procedures and using all personal protective equipment and protocols.

Anyone coming into the hospital must wear a face mask.  Also, anyone not feeling well is asked to please call the hospital to reschedule their elective procedure.  Each and every patient and visitor who enters the hospital is screened with a temperature scan and is asked a short series of health questions that are COVID-19 related.    Each staff member also screens their temperature before entering the hospital, all in an effort to continue to stop the spread of this respiratory illness and offer a safe health care environment.

Veterans Memorial Hospital continues to offer the COVID-line for all phone calls regarding COVID-19.  Anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or having any questions is asked to call the COVID Line at 568-3411, then ask for the COVID Line.

The COVID line is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  A Registered Nurse will answer questions about COVID and if necessary, get the caller scheduled for testing.   The COVID line is available only during the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.   Calls received after these hours will be addressed the next day.  Anyone having questions about whether or not their symptoms require an urgent care visit can call the Emergency Department at any time.