Memorial Health System is now providing a public COVID Dashboard for tracking cases in the health system.
Passavant Area Hospital President and CEO Dr. Scott Boston says the release is timely as now approximately half of all patients currently in care at Passavant have COVID-19.
Boston says the COVID Dashboard is a way for Memorial Health System to inform the public a daily look at the number of patients in each hospital as well as the number of those with COVID. The report includes graphs that show the cases and admissions over time, which Boston says are continuing to go up pretty dramatically.
Boston says the amount of COVID numbers heard daily can make people start to become numb to the reality of the pandemic. He says the Dashboard report also helps remind the public of the human side to the numbers: “I like one of the things that is says at the top of the data. It says each of these numbers represents a family member, friend, or neighbor. There is a bit of a flood of data and sometimes it is easy to become sort of overwhelmed or paralyzed with the amount of data and information. What our goal with this dashboard is to really put out there and say this is where we are. These are the people that we are taking care of and not to lose sight of the fact that these are not just numbers, not just statistics, but these are the individuals that these hospitals are taking care of.”
Near the end of October, Dr. Boston told WLDS News that the surge of COVID cases the hospital prepared for in March was happening now. Boston says COVID hospitalizations at Passavant are continuing to increase at an alarming rate: “We have 16 patients in our in-patient unit, and we actually have 5 in our emergency room waiting for bed placements, so we have 21 patients with COVID in the hospital. That is over half of our patient volume, so you could say in a sense most of our patients, over half of our patients, have COVID right now.”
According to the COVID Dashboard, across all five hospitals in the Memorial network, as of noon yesterday there were 565 patients in the hospital, with 162 of those having COVID-19.
Passavant has the highest rate of COVID patients with an average of over 57%, compared to an average of 28% COVID admissions system wide. Boston says not only are the cases rising rapidly in this area, but contact tracing is showing the sources of the increased cases at Passavant have also shifted dramatically: “The institutions like group living environments: nursing homes, extended care facilities even the prisons, those would be the environments where we’d see the largest number, but what we’re seeing right now is not those group congregate living environments, it’s the communities spread. There’s obviously a lot more people that live in the community than live in these congregate environments, so the spread is quite dramatic now compared to what it was in the Spring.”
Boston says at last count, Passavant has over 30 staff members that were excluded from work because of COVID exposure with the overwhelming majority stemming from community exposure. He says it poses some real challenges for Passavant when five to ten percent of the staff cannon come to work due to COVID.
Boston says the COVID Dashboard information shows the relationship between mitigation efforts and rising cases, citing that more of the public needs to wear masks and practice social distancing: “We’ve got an interesting graph that our data scientist folks published and its our in patient census report, and it gives us the data on how many people are in the hospital and it’s very dramatic when you look at Phase 4. Whenever we opened up into Phase 4, literally within a couple of weeks that number started going up. You know we flattened the curve in Phase 3, and [when] we got into Phase 4 is when we saw the growth.”
To access the Memorial COVID-19 Dashboard daily report, go to www.passavanthospital.com and click on the red banner at the top of the page that will link to the Memorial COVID Response Page.