Hospitals relying on collaboration to care for infected COVID-19 patients

The number of COVID-19 cases are multiplying at the treatment epicenter of New Jersey’s outbreak with twice as many patients in intensive care than the beginning of the week.

“The ICU has become an entirely COVID-19 wing and we’ve created two other dedicated wings that are just for coronavirus patients. And we’re in the process of creating a third dedicated wing just for coronavirus,” said Dr. Adam Jarrett, chief medical officer at Holy Name Medical Center.

Jarrett says the ICU has just five more beds, and by end of the day the medical center will have four wings dedicated just to coronavirus care.

Holy Name is among five hospitals in Bergen County holding daily teleconferences at the executive and supply levels to collaborate:

“I was speaking to Valley Hospital this morning and we think we’re going to be able to ship them a couple of ventilators either later today or tomorrow. They shipped us a ventilator a couple day ago, so we’re going to be returning that plus one more,” Jarrett said. “Right now it’s primarily equipment. We’ve had some very early conversations about staff, but that’s going to be very difficult. Hopefully we won’t have to get to that point. We’re also talking about clinical approach because this is a new disease, so what are you seeing that we’re not seeing.”

“If we can share resources, we do. A good example was last weekend. Teaneck really got inundated with cases. Holy Name Medical Center needed some protective equipment, as well as they needed one of their patients to be transferred to do intensive care level at Hackensack and we were able to do both in a pretty quick manner,” said Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

On current supply levels, Jarrett said Holy Name is close to being short.

“We are in constant communication with the other hospitals. Our materials folks are doing an excellent job to make sure that we have adequate supplies. We seem to be staying a couple days ahead at this point, and that is the position, I think, that we’re going to be in for at least the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Holy Name calls the collaboration crucial to caring for coronavirus patients and learning more about the pandemic.