Health & Wellness

PeaceHealth, Chronicle partner to provide expertise

Dr. Margaret Pattison

COTTAGE GROVE – The Emergency Department at PeaceHealth Community Medical Center is the quietest I’ve seen in 10 years as an emergency physician. Patient volumes are much lower than usual.

During the past month, while you’ve been following stay-at-home orders, we’ve been diligently preparing for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. We’re grateful that hasn’t happened, and we hope it never will.

I want to let you know about several temporary changes we’ve made at the hospital to help protect our community’s health during the pandemic.

At the same time, I want to reassure residents that it is safe to come to our Emergency Department if you need emergency medical care. Please don’t delay getting help if you are experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, or other life-threatening symptoms.

PeaceHealth has shifted into high gear, re-engineering our processes and redesigning patient flow to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and caregivers at our hospital. These are among the changes you might notice:

* You will enter through one of two entrances. Patients with fever or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, will be directed to the Emergency Department entrance. All others will be directed to the medical center’s main doors. 

* Visitor restrictions are in place. Only essential visitors are allowed: one visitor with a child or adult who needs assistance.

* Our caregivers will take your temperature using a non-contact thermometer. If you have a fever of 100.4 or above, you will be advised on how to seek care. Everyone entering our facility, including our caregivers, will have their temperature checked.

* Patients and visitors entering the hospital will be asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering. If you don’t have your own, we will offer you one.

* Based on your symptoms, you will be directed to a specific area of the ER. All areas of the department – entrance, registration, waiting area and rooms – have been divided to separate potentially infectious patients from non-infectious patients. 

* The trailer outside our Emergency Department is an emergency medicine triage site, which could be put into service if we had a large influx of patients. 

Something else worth noting: Our clinic providers have completed additional training to assist with Emergency Department patients if we see a surge of patients. 

During these trying times, we are truly grateful for all the support we have received from our Cottage Grove and Creswell communities. We’re also proud of how our caregivers have risen to this challenge.

Every day is filled with instances of our caregivers going above and beyond the call of their normal duties to care for our patients. We want everyone to know that our Cottage Grove Emergency Department remains open and ready to care for you.

Dr. Margaret Pattison is medical director of the PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center Emergency Department.



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