Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, along with colleagues across the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system, is consistently adapting to evolving Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State Department of Health guidelines, policies, and information concerning COVID-19.
In preparation for a predicted surge, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for hospitals to work toward increasing bed capacity by 100 percent. Stony Brook Southampton Hospital is initiating a plan that progressively expands bed count over the next few weeks by repurposing areas throughout the hospital to safely care for suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients.
To help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus to patients and staff, the hospital has postponed elective surgeries and procedures, as well as mammography screening. Urgent procedures or operations necessary to preserve life and function will not be postponed.
“For more than a century, the hospital has served the East End. While these times are unchartered, one constant remains: the indefatigable spirt of this diverse community,” the hospital said in a statement. “We are deeply heartened by your generosity and offers of support.”
Patients requiring X-rays at the hospital or in the Hampton Bays Atrium are now required to call and schedule an appointment as walk-ins are no longer accepted until further notice. X-rays and lab work in East Hampton Healthcare and Westhampton locations have been suspended.
Supplies like personal protective equipment, vents, and beds are adequate for current needs, but may be strained as the hospital anticipates a surge over the next few weeks. The organization is keenly monitoring quantities and has taken innovative steps to reach beyond traditional supply chains to help bolster supplies.
At the entrance to the Emergency Department is a forward triage where a nurse in personal protective equipment is stationed 24/7 to greet and screen patients. Those with COVID-19 symptoms are required to don a mask before entering.
Clinicians identify patients that qualify for testing by using the CDC guidelines, such as exhibiting flu-like symptoms, including cough, fever, respiratory issues, and/or having been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Patient test samples are sent to the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Laboratories in Albany. Results take between three to four days, during which time the patient is in isolation. The hospital is researching additional sources to help expedite results, and converted the Parrish Memorial Hall to serve overflow from the Emergency Department, if needed.
Wellness programs, exercise classes, and nutrition workshops are canceled, however the hospital is providing some classes via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/shhospitalny/videos. More are being added.
Colleagues at Stony Brook Medicine have established a COVID-19 phone triage line for the community. The hotline number is 631-638-1320. Registered nurses are available to answer calls from 8 AM to midnight, Monday through Friday. Callers will be evaluated and directed to the appropriate healthcare setting for assistance, as needed.
For information in English and Spanish about COVID-19 testing and Emergency Department guidelines, call 631-726-FACT (3228), or visit southampton.stonybrookmedicine.edu, which includes COVID-19 efforts.
To ensure supplies, food, etc. are appropriately distributed, contact [email protected] before delivering.
“Take care of yourself and those you care about,” the hospital said, “and respect by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands often, and staying home.”