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SGMC opens ER Triage Tent for patients with COVID-19 symptoms

Posted at 8:55 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 09:07:54-04

(WTXL) — South Georgia Medical Center has opened an Emergency Room Triage Tent to help coordinate care for a higher volume of Emergency Room patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

This new initiative is part of South Georgia Medical Center’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Plan.

SGMC says the 1,500 sq. ft. air-conditioned tent is designed to accommodate a larger number of patients seeking medical evaluation and care in an efficient and effective manner.

The tent is located outside the front entrance of the Emergency Department and is staffed with workers that have personal protective equipment .

The tent is also equipped to allow the care team to conduct a rapid assessment then mobilize the patient to the next level of care.

“Patients who are screened, deemed low acuity and exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be directed to the ERTriage Tent. Patients presenting to the ER with other needs will enter the ER and follow the normal registration and triage process,” said Dr. Clark Connell, SGMC Emergency Medicine Medical Director. “The expanded triage area helps keep our patients and staff safe by creating more capacity within our ER, facilitating required social distancing for potentially contagious patients and allowing our team to have more room to accommodate a large surge of patients.”

Once inside the Triage Tent, patients will receive an evaluation to determine next level of care or treatment.

SGMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean says, “Our COVID-19 response plan has been about anticipating growing patient demand in advance, adapting to the situation and what it presents and, it’s been about taking measured steps to ensure we accommodate our patients and our teams needs. By expanding capacity in advance of a large patient surge, we aim to maintain control and provide the safest environment possible for all patient types presenting to the ER and an equally safe environment for our workforce, both of which are our highest priorities.”

SGMC believes the next two to four weeks could necessitate even more measures to accommodate a regional surge of patients. The ER Triage Tent is designed such that its functionality will evolve as situation changes.

For more information on SGMC and COVID-19 visit sgmc.org.