Coronavirus updates from Alliance partners

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Daily Video Message from Linda Hunt

Click here to view the daily video message from Dignity Health Arizona Division President Linda HuntThe message covers financial actions being taken as a result of COVID-19.

Financial Actions

The Dignity Health Arizona Division has experienced a sharp decline in patient census as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure good stewardship while maintaining a talented workforce, several actions are being taken, including reducing the salary of executive teams, flexing to census, and meeting PTO targets. For full details, please read the announcement that was sent from the division presidents yesterday (also see Linda Hunt’s daily video message). For questions, employees should talk to their leader.

Gov. Ducey Allows Elective Surgeries

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that hospitals may resume elective surgeries Friday, May 1, if the hospital receives approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services. To obtain approval, hospitals must demonstrate adequate bed availability, COVID-19 testing/screening, PPE stock, and staffing, as well as enhanced cleaning. St. Joseph’s is focused on obtaining approval to begin elective surgeries while continuing to provide a safe environment for all guests and staff.

Drive-Through Testing for Patients

Dignity Health Medical Group is now offering COVID-19 drive-through testing for symptomatic patients at both St. Joseph’s and Chandler Regional. Patients must first undergo a telephone or video visit with the Dignity Health Medical Group provider, who will then order the test if warranted. Current medical group patients can follow their normal scheduling process to make an appointment. Individuals who are not currently patients of the Dignity Health Medical Group can call 602-406-DHMG (3464) to schedule an appointment to establish care (appointments can be done by telephone or video). As a reminder: COVID-19 testing is also available to symptomatic employees and physicians, but it follows a different process. Symptomatic employees and providers may text “DIGNITYHEALTH” to 424.402.5266. If testing is needed, employees will be given additional details and directed to a testing site (“walk-in” testing is not provided).

Valleywise Health

Current COVID-19 Cases

  • Confirmed Positives in House: 7 (VHMC), 14 (Behavioral Health)
  • Persons Under Investigation (PUI): 8 (VHMC), 2 (Behavioral Health)
  • Behavioral Health Screenings in Last 24 hours: 19
  • Patients Discharged in Last 24 hours: 0

Elective Surgery Update

On April 22, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order removing restrictions on conducting elective surgeries for health care facilities that meet certain preparedness criteria. Under the new order, hospitals, dental offices and other health facilities can resume conducting elective surgeries on May 1 if they can show they have implemented measures intended to keep health care workers and patients safe.  Valleywise Health is working closely with state health officials and other involved parties to navigate through these developments. Updates will be shared when they become available.

COVID-19 Test Results

The IT department has worked extensively with our Arizona Health Information Exchange, HealthCurrent, to bring in positive COVID-19 test data from external systems to enable appropriate, safe and timely care to patients. When a patient is seen (ambulatory, emergency or inpatient), the entire HealthCurrent database will be automatically checked. Any positive results from another system will immediately come back directly in Epic and will trigger the COVID-19 positive visualizations. Negative results will also come back. 

Telehealth Visits

Valleywise Health providers have completed 10,299 virtual visits and have scheduled 431 future visits, helping patients stay healthy and connected during the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 Safety Videos for Refugees

Refugees are especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why Valleywise Health teamed up with Arizona state officials to make safety videos in languages like Swahili, Karen and Arabic. The videos have been viewed more than 70,000 times. See the story by local NPR affiliate KJZZ. Reported.

Inspiring Nurse Story

Telemundo Arizona interviewed Valleywise Health nurse Karen Garcia about what it means to be working on the front lines, as well as being a DREAMer. Click here to watch the story.