At the beginning of this pandemic, Beebe Healthcare joined the rest of the world in halting our work and preparing ourselves for the expected surge of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Many people had their elective procedures postponed for safety reasons and in order to conserve personal protective equipment at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Delaware.
In medicine, the term elective means that a procedure or surgery is not immediately necessary to save life or limb. However, there are many medical procedures and surgeries that need to be performed when it is safe to do so, to ensure people live as healthy a life as possible.
For the past two months, we at Beebe Healthcare have been performing some procedures in our operating rooms and cardiac cath labs, and delivering babies in our maternal health units. We are doing all we can to keep patients and team members safe and carefully using precious resources like PPE to ensure we remain able to care for critically ill patients — COVID and non-COVID — for the present and the future. After all, a heart attack, stroke or a new baby cannot wait for the pandemic to be over.
A clinical team led by physicians reviews cases daily to follow-up with patients who have had their procedures postponed and make medical determination regarding the prioritization of scheduling their cases. This team also balances that clinical decision with the need to keep people safe while ensuring our health system remains prepared for any uptick in COVID-19 admissions.
I am proud that this relentless focus on safety is the reason why Beebe Healthcare has received our second consecutive A Grade from the Leapfrog Group. The independent group grades hospitals across the country and evaluates how well we prevent medical errors.
As access to testing continues to expand and we have a firmer grasp on the rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Sussex County — which, thankfully, continues to flatten as of now — we look forward to re-engaging with our patients, physicians and team members to provide these needed services.
Beebe Healthcare understands the immediacy of your healthcare needs and remains steadfast in our commitment to delivering the care you and your family need during this challenging time.
There are things you can focus on to help yourself be healthy, whether you are waiting for a procedure or not:
• Take care of your health — Many people have a little more time on our hands during this time. Find ways to take care of yourself, whether it be adding daily exercise, adjusting your diet or practicing good mental health.
Physicians may sound like a broken record, but we know that healthiest individuals fare best against COVID-19. In addition, dropping a few pounds or lowering your blood pressure, and managing your chronic conditions, will have far-reaching benefits even if you do not contract COVID-19. Improving your health will also help the recovery process when we are able to schedule you for that procedure or surgery.
Beebe offers ideas for staying healthy on our new website, in a section we call the Health Hub. Here you can find past Beacon articles and other tips and ideas from our physicians. Visit www.beebehealthcare.org/health-hub to explore.
• Have a virtual check-up with your doctor — If you want to do more than read about your health, consider scheduling a telemedicine appointment with your doctor. Beebe Medical Group has expanded access thanks to this new virtual way of receiving healthcare and connecting with healthcare professionals. And we continue to offer in-person appointments at our clinics throughout this pandemic, ensuring safety with strict medically appropriate protocols that focus on your safety.
Beebe will always be here for you as we continue to work together to end the spread of coronavirus.