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The Manzella family (Photo courtesy of Kaleida Health)
The Manzella family (Photo courtesy of Kaleida Health)

Kaleida Health launches telehealth platform, expands testing for frontline


Mon, Apr 13th 2020 09:45 am

Kaleida Health released the following updates over the weekend regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

TENTS SET UP OUTSIDE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS – To ensure hospitals are as prepared as possible for the potential of a future surge of COVID-19 patients, tents have been set up outside the emergency departments (ED) at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. Oishei Children's Hospital also has a tent ready to be set up if and when the need arises.


In the event of ED volume surges, tents will be used to triage patients at the ED entrance. At Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, the current ED waiting area would be turned into a treatment space. 

The tents will be fully functional, with electricity, heat and workstations on wheels, and will be fully staffed, as needed.

WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOU: HEALTH CARE DURING PANDEMIC – With all the focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of fear and anxiety has taken hold. Much of that is related to our daily health care needs.

For example: Will I still be able to get my prescriptions? Do I keep my wellness exam? Do I need to stock up on over-the-counter medications? If I have an emergency, is it safe to go to the emergency department?

Kaleida Health spoke with Thomas Hughes, M.D., chief medical officer for Optimum Physician Alliance, about what you need to know.

See here - https://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=13972

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLY DONATIONS FROM ERIE, NIAGARA COUNTIES – As Kaleida Health’s purchasing and supply chain teams continue to reach out to every possible vendor and business partner to secure additional equipment, supplies and PPE to protect staff, providers, patients and visitors, several community organizations have come through with donations to Kaleida Health, including:

√ Erie County Emergency Services: 32 gallons hand sanitizer

√ Niagara County Emergency Services: 8 gallons hand sanitizer, 50 coveralls, 400 face shield

KALEIDA HEALTH LAUNCHES TELEHEALTH PLATFORM TO CARE FOR PATIENTS – Kaleida Health announced it has launched a telehealth platform that provides remote emergency room visits and consultations for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients across Western New York.

The telehealth technology seamlessly integrates with the care teams’ existing workflows and allows providers to continue safely delivering high-quality care amid social-distancing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

“By utilizing our telemedicine capabilities, we can address the ongoing health care needs of our patients, reduce the potential risk of infectious disease exposure for patients and health care workers, and conserve medical supplies for high-acuity patients at our hospitals,” said Joshua Lynch, D.O., director of emergency medicine at Kaleida Health. “Individuals can seek care from an emergency room provider from the comfort and safety of their own home.”

How It Works:

•Individuals with questions or possible symptoms of COVID-19 or minor clinical conditions should schedule a telehealth video visit here: https://kaleida-health.inquicker.com/facility/kaleida-emergency-telemedicine.

•Upon appointment confirmation, a care team member contacts the individual by phone to complete registration and general assessment. Depending on the individual’s symptoms and care needs, an on-site visit may be required at the discretion of the care team.

•Prior to the appointment time, patient receives link by email/text message, which directs them to a secure video conference line, accessible on a smartphone, laptop or tablet.

•Emergency room provider consults with patient to assess symptoms, provide recommendations and prescribe medications.

As a reminder, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), at-risk or symptomatic patients should first contact their primary care provider, urgent care clinic or local emergency room before leaving their homes to seek care. For more information about the telehealth platform, visit www.kaleidahealth.org to set up a virtual visit.

KALEIDA HEALTH LABS EXPAND TESTING FOR FRONTLINE – Acknowledging that COVID-19 testing continues to be an extraordinarily limited resource, Kaleida Health announced it has expanded its testing capability to include other health care workers and first responders.

This includes testing Catholic Health, Roswell Park and Veteran’s Hospital employees, plus Buffalo Fire Department and Buffalo Police Department personnel, as well paramedics/EMTs from AMR Ambulance, Twin City and volunteer fire/EMS companies.

Those who are symptomatic or who believe they need to be tested should call the Erie County coronavirus hotline at 716-858-2929.

NEWBORNS – This Easter, Kaleida Health celebrated with new parents at Oishei Children’s Hospital who are enjoying their newborns just in time for the holiday.

Mike and Mandy Manzella are the proud parents of Helena Marie Manzella. Delivered at Oishei Children’s Hospital, she came in weighing 6 pounds and 11 ounces; she is 19.5 inches long.

Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, Kaleida Health shares why the hospital is still the safest place to deliver a baby.

Experts from Oishei Children’s Hospital answered some frequently asked questions related to safe pregnancy and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic:

•Q: Is it safe to have a baby at the hospital during COVID-19?

A: Yes, it is still safe to have a baby at the hospital during COVID-19. The team at Oishei Children’s Hospital (OCH) has taken extra precautions to keep everyone safe including:

√ Enhanced cleaning and workflow protocols

√ Reduced visitation for emergency department and inpatient units

  • Allowing for one support person during delivery only

√ Universal masking throughout the hospital for all staff and visitors

√ Entrance and exit precautions:

  • Parents & newborn can be escorted directly through exit to parking garage
  • If street exit is preferred, parents and newborn will be escorted to a separate exit from the point of entry for the general public

•Q: Should I consider changing my plans about having baby at home vs. hospital?

A: The hospital continues to be the safest place to birth a baby

•Q: What steps has the hospital taken?

A: The Oishei Children’s Hospital team has put a number of steps into place to keep mom, newborn and support partner safe:

√ As always, hospitals have the highest trained professionals to oversee the birth experience – on the patient’s terms but with safety and quality in mind

√ Though OCH have a lot of options and equipment available, it may not need to be used if a natural delivery is possible

√ OCH has a full team for moms to work with, including physicians, nurses, midwifes and lactation consultants all in one place! 

•Q: What steps to take to keep myself and baby safe during pregnancy?

 A: Pregnant women have not been seen to be at any higher risk to contract COVID-19 than the rest of the general population. Therefore, following the same physical and social distancing guidelines and hand hygiene will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during pregnancy. Also, maintaining all prenatal appointments and care with an OB/GYN is important to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

•Q: What steps can new parents take to keep baby safe when you get home?

A: Though the birth of a new baby usually brings many visitors, the best way to keep your newborn safe is to not allow any in-person visitors at this time, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or anyone not living within the newborn’s household. New parents can introduce their newborn to family through virtual visits with Skype, FaceTime and social media

Additionally, if you must leave the house for essentials, be sure to follow the current guidelines to protect yourself from the spread of the virus including:

  • Wear a mask while in public
  • Practice physical distancing while in public
  • Do not touch your face
  • Practice proper hand hygiene
  • If parents protect themselves, they are shielding everyone else in the household

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – Statistics as of 1 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

Buffalo General Medical Center

  • Inpatients: 43 confirmed cases currently in-house (23 in ICU, 20 in medical unit)
  • 31 in-house who are under investigation
  • 113 additional patients were tested, but are negative

Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital

  • Inpatients: 26 confirmed cases currently in-house (11 in ICU, 15 in medical unit)
  • 17 in-house who are under investigation
  • 39 additional patients were tested, but are negative

DeGraff Memorial Hospital

  • 0 confirmed case currently in-house
  • 0 in-house who are under investigation
  • 0 additional patients were tested

Oishei Children’s Hospital

  • Inpatients: 0 confirmed case currently in-house
  • 4 in-house who are under investigation
  • 16 additional patients were tested, but are negative

Highpointe On Michigan

  • 1 confirmed case currently in-house
  • 0 in-house who are under investigation
  • 4 additional patients were tested, but are negative

DeGraff SNF

  • 0 confirmed case currently in-house
  • 0 in-house who are under investigation
  • 1 additional patients was tested, but is negative

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