Hospital Corner – August, 2020

Hospital Corner – August, 2020

This year will be memorable for a number of reasons (mostly bad) but staff at Mt. Grant General have tried to make the best of the COVID-19 world we now live in:  whether we like it or not, agree or disagree with drastic measures in place, hope for a quick end to this or see no end in sight.  Vaccine can’t get here quickly enough!  In the meantime, we will continue to fight the virus as best we can—masks, frequent hand washing, keeping your distance from others.  You all know the drill by now.  A few months ago, we began daily fogging as well. To give you a better sense of what I mean, think of the movie “Ghostbusters” (the original of course, not one of the unfortunate sequels).  Mt. Grant’s “virus busters” put on lab coats, half-face respirators, goggles, gloves, and a hat before strapping on a virucidal fogger (instead of a proton pack).  Our goal isn’t to capture mischievous ghosts but rather to destroy viruses, especially SARS-CoV-2 aka coronavirus.  Our fogger team never fails to elicit a snicker or giggle from others as they plod through the hospital hallways with cumbersome fogger and lengthy extension cords in hand.  Despite their comical appearance, they do important work.  Fogging, according to studies, “uniformly delivered the disinfectants throughout the room, and effectively decontaminated viruses on hard-to-reach surfaces.”  Our crack Housekeeping personnel do great work but fogging gets it done quickly with a high degree of certainty that coronavirus and other contagions are eliminated.  At Mt. Grant, no one has to ask “Who you gonna call?”  Our fogger team, led by Hospital Safety Officer Carol Lemieux, is always on the job and ready at a moment’s notice—we just need to find a way to pipe in some theme music when they march down the hall to battle the viral beast.

By the time these words appear in print, our new CT Scanner should be up and running.  After extensive shipping delays caused by aforementioned virus, this lengthy project that began last winter with grant funding from the William N. Pennington Foundation will come to a close.  Mentioned numerous times over the past year, the machine is a faster, safer and more accurate scanner than the one it replaced. Radiology Manager Duane Henry will proudly show off his new million dollar toy if you want to stop by and take a look.

Another delayed project is launch of our partnership with Intermountain Healthcare for the establishment of telecritical and telehospitalist programs here at Mt. Grant.  As announced here months ago, Intermountain will be providing 24/7/365 remote monitoring of higher acuity patients; at present, they are transferred to Renown or other larger hospitals.  Soon, Hawthorne patients who choose to do so may be able to stay in town for their care, instead of being flown to Reno.   Intermountain’s team of experienced critical care doctors and nurses will be working with Mt. Grant providers and nurses to provide the finest care and treatment possible.  Now that we have resumed preparation for this innovative program, we anticipate a November 2020 roll out. We will be the first rural Nevada hospital to make this available to patients, though it has been in place in Utah and Idaho for a few years.  Look for more detailed information in the months ahead.

It is my pleasure to introduce our newest physical therapist: Dr. James Ahlstrom recently joined our PT team, providing therapy and rehabilitation services to patients and SNF residents (who greatly benefit from daily PT).  We now have two fulltime PT teams; he joins Dr. Lane Truman who has been here for a year already.  The teams alternate weeks, ensuring therapy available Monday through Sunday.  This arrangement makes us the envy of most rural hospitals! Welcome Dr. Ahlstrom and family.

Hugh Qualls, Administrator