DERRY — Parkland Medical Center in Derry is ramping up for what is expected to be a growing demand on their hospital staff for treatment of the COVID-19 virus.
At the 86-bed Derry hospital, numerous steps are being taken to prepare the hospital if the outbreak worsens, including "ensuring we have the necessary supplies and equipment, and emergency planning," the hospital said in a prepared statement.
In addition, the hospital has "dedicated isolation rooms" for people who may be infected.
Testing remains an issue, according to the statement provided by Ryan Lawrence, Parkland's marketing and communications director.
"Like other hospitals in our area, having enough testing capabilities is an issue we continue to monitor, and "we appreciate the New Hampshire Department of Health’s diligent work in this area," Lawrence said in the statement.
Patients with symptoms are encouraged to call their own physician first before coming to the hospital unless it is a medical emergency.
"We have tested individuals in accordance with CDC guidelines," Lawrence said. "Like other hospitals in our area, having enough testing capabilities is an issue we continue to monitor, and we appreciate the New Hampshire Department of Health's diligent work in this area."
For those who feel they need health care, Parkland offers information on how to move forward.
"We ask anyone with a cough, fever, respiratory illness, who has traveled outside the country or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19, to first call their primary care physician, and do not come to the hospital without first making that call unless it's a medical emergency," Lawrence said.
As for staff, the hospital said there is adequate staffing now, and "we continue to ensure we are prepared for an influx of patients. We have staffing contingency plans in place, and those include the use of HCA Healthcare’s in-house staffing agency."
Like other hospitals, Parkland is monitoring the supply levels of personal protective equipment, or PPEs.
"We are in close collaboration with our supply chain organization who is monitoring industry information and working with our vendor partners to assess availability, and to ensure we have the necessary supplies to serve our patients and our caregivers,"hospital officials said in a statement. "This monitoring includes all types of personal protective equipment. We will continue this scrutiny as well as ensuring our care teams are utilizing the recommended PPE items."
The staff has also been asked to conserve medical equipment if possible.
"In addition, HCA Healthcare is working to identify other sources of important supplies and equipment to help ensure the continued protection of our colleagues and patients," the statement said.
Lawrence added Parkland is committed to serving the region.
"We have incredible, dedicated staff here at Parkland Medical center, providing 24/7 care for our community during these challenging times," Lawrence said.