Letter from MDH President/Chief Executive Officer Brian E. Dietz, FACHE
McDonough County Residents
“Take Care of Your Health”
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, another important public health crisis has emerged. Patients are delaying or foregoing critical emergency medical care, putting their health and well-being at increased risk. Hospitals, physicians and Advanced Practice Nurses across the country report that Emergency Room (ER) and primary care office visits have declined as much as 40 to 50 percent over the last several months. Concerns that going to a hospital or physician’s office might expose patients to COVID-19 or other infectious diseases have resulted in dangerous delays or avoidance of necessary urgent evaluation of serious problems.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, understandably, caused a lot of concern. As we all work together to mitigate the spread of the virus within our community, we want you to know that your health and safety are our number one priority. We are committed to providing you the quality, compassionate care you have come to trust from us.
Whether you suspect you have COVID-19 or are experiencing a serious illness or concerning symptoms, it is important to seek the appropriate medical treatment. Delaying such care out of fear of contracting the virus could worsen symptoms or result in a life-threatening situation. In a medical emergency, time is of the essence. The McDonough District Hospital Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day and remains the safest place to receive care.
McDonough District Hospital and all of our physician’s offices remain open and safe to provide care, including both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related illnesses. We have implemented rigorous policies and procedures to keep both patients and caregivers safe. Some of the measures we have taken include the following:
- Everyone entering the hospital or physician offices must wear a face covering at all times
- All healthcare personnel and any visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the hospital or physician’s office buildings
- Patients with COVID-19 are isolated from other patients
- Our team members wear personal protective equipment (respirators, face shields/goggles, gloves and gowns)
- Handwashing with soap and water or hand sanitizer gel is strictly enforced
- No visitors are allowed in the hospital (except under extraordinary circumstances)
- All public areas are cleaned throughout the day using hospital-grade disinfectants (all patient rooms, patient care areas, and equipment are thoroughly cleaned between patients using appropriate disinfectants. Additional cleaning using bleach products is completed in all rooms and areas occupied by a COVID-19 patient)
If you are concerned about your health or think you are experiencing a life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack or stroke, call 911. Typical signs and symptoms of a medical emergency include the following but not limited to:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble lifting your arms or weakness
- Fainting or loss of consciousness; dizziness, loss of vision
- Severe abdominal pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Severe vomiting or vomiting that includes blood
- Confusion or changes in cognitive function and behavior
- Feeling suicidal or homicidal
- Head or spinal injuries
- Injury due to a motor vehicle crash or other accident
- Ingestion of a poisonous or dangerous substance
Your health and well-being is paramount to all of us. Let’s work together in partnership to assure all residents of McDonough County and the surrounding region continue to address all aspects of their healthcare needs. Let’s be a model community for the State of Illinois and combat this pandemic successfully together utilizing these important steps. Follow the Shelter at Home guidelines until they are lifted, practice social distancing, wear a face covering when in public, wash your hands regularly, always maintain contact with your healthcare provider, and remember, until we have a vaccine, like influenza, COVID-19 is now here to stay and we should all have learned by now to respect its devastating and destructive capability if all of us are not careful.
Brian E. Dietz, FACHE
President/Chief Executive Officer
McDonough District Hospital