Hospital COVID-19 Update to the Community
April 15, 2020
Bonners Ferry – Boundary Community Hospital has established a COVID-19 Task Force made up of department managers and medical staff which has been meeting frequently to provide guidance and discuss internal protocols as well as continuing to assess the ever-changing environment and regulatory direction. Some of the changes instituted by the Task Force include:
Emergency Check In – For the safety of everyone, including patients and staff, the Emergency team has instituted a new process for accessing Emergency Services. Patients driving in should park in the designated Check-in Parking spot under the Ambulance Bay and call the Registrar phone number listed on the sign. Once checked in and screened, a nurse will come out to assess/triage and give further instructions. If you are in an emergency situation, please call 911. As always, the Emergency team is ready 24/7 to serve you and care for our community.
Lab Testing – Drive Up Lab Testing is available Monday through Friday 8 am to 3 pm. Park in one of the designated parking spots by Outpatient Services and call the number to register. The lab tech will come out and take the needed samples at your car.
Acute Care – The Acute Care/Emergency lobby is closed. A video intercom has been installed so you can talk with the health unit coordinator directly about your needs. For Saturday Outpatient Services (Lab or X-Ray), please call ahead to make sure the paperwork is in order and they will give you instructions on where to park and enter the facility.
Extended Care – Strict visitor restrictions are in place for the extended care facility/nursing home. The nursing and activities staff are doing a wonderful job working with the residents. Community members have been sending in stories and pictures to share with the residents. Share your blooming photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rehabilitation Services – Outpatient appointments with Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists are considered essential services and are continuing. All patients are screened before coming in and some pediatric patients are being seen through telehealth.
Primary Care – Many patients still need to see their primary care provider for a variety of reasons. With existing patients, Dr. Layeux and Mike Yourzek, PA-C are conducting telehealth appointments when appropriate. The Boundary Community Clinics team have patients wait in their vehicle until a medical assistant can escort them directly to the exam room.
Housekeeping – The housekeepers wanted to know how well the cleaner that is currently used kills all living micro-organisms including viruses and bacteria. The Lab took samples of areas in various departments and multiple surfaces cleaned by Housekeeping and then tested them proving that the current method of cleaning is eliminating all bacteria and viruses. Great job housekeepers!
COVID-19 Testing – If you have symptoms and believe you need to be tested, CALL your Primary Care Provider to be screened. Tests require authorization by primary care providers following the CDC and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare guidelines for testing and the authorization of Panhandle Health District. If you have the provider order and need the test, please use the drive up lab testing which is available Monday through Friday 8 am through 3 pm. A copy of the provider lab order must be faxed to the lab by the provider before you can be tested. Test results have been taking three to five days and are provided directly to your provider. All COVID-19 samples accepted at BCH are sent to the Idaho State Lab for testing at this time. These tests are recorded by County of Residence and not by where the samples are taken. As of 11 am on April 15th, 31 samples have returned negative and 10 samples are pending results from the Idaho State Lab.
Everyone at Boundary Community Hospital and Boundary Community Clinics are grateful for the wide community support for our team. A special thank you to the Disabled American Veterans for the nebulizer which we were able to put into service immediately. The Hospital Auxiliary has donated head covers for the Emergency, Surgery and Clinics teams. The cloth masks, takeout food deliveries, good wishes and prayers help keep the morale up and our staff focused on the essential tasks at hand — Caring for Our Community, Every Day.