March 12, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the rising number of cases in California, Keck Medicine of USC has announced the following precautions to protect staff and patients and reduce the spread of the disease:
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- All patients are being screened for COVID-19 and triaged for appropriate treatment, including remote treatment at home by a recently activated clinical team.
- When visiting hospitalized patients, only one visitor over the age of 14 will be permitted at a time; compassionate exceptions for critical situations will be granted.
- Non-essential visitors (such as vendors or community members) will not be granted access to any facility.
- All health care providers with Keck Medicine have been credentialed to practice telemedicine in order to expand capacity, enabling virtual visits with patients instead of in-person.
- Domestic and international travel has been restricted for staff. Those who have returned from international travel are being screened for COVID-19 and managed accordingly.
- An automated re-order system for supplies has been in effect to ensure facilities remained stocked. The health system is confident in its ability to provide sufficient supplies for our staff and patients and will continuously monitor the situation.
- Surge planning is underway, including temporary structures for additional clinical screening and isolation.
“We are being incredibly proactive and are enacting all necessary precautions at our facilities, both acute and outpatient, to protect our community and slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Rodney Hanners, COO of Keck Medicine of USC and CEO of Keck Medical Center of USC. “The well-being of our staff, patients and loved ones is foremost in our planning as we continue to provide a safe environment without compromising our exceptional patient care.”
“All of our procedures are developed for the maximum safety and care of our patients,” says Stephanie Hall, MD, chief medical officer of Keck Medicine. “The ability of our providers to provide virtual visits is an especially important development as we fight this outbreak, and just one of many ways we are protecting both our staff and patients.”
The World Health Organization has labeled COVID-19 a pandemic. In an ongoing effort to keep the public informed about the disease, Keck Medicine has created a COVID-19 website that will be updated regularly.