HALL COUNTY, Ga. — The rush of patients in hospital emergency rooms and critical care departments is taking a toll on workers, facilities and patients seeking care for illness or injuries whether they are COVID-19 related or not.
Last week, Channel 2 Action News reported on up to seven hour wait times at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
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The company that operates that hospital, Northeast Georgia Health Systems, is telling anyone heading for care at their four hospitals that they may not find themselves treated in a traditional way.
In order to maximize the space available, they are bringing back mobile field hospitals for emergency patients at their Gainesville and Braselton campuses.
They’re telling anyone who needs care for mild to moderate illnesses or injuries that they will end up in the mobile unit. The system says waits are long because they are very busy and full but they also want residents to know that they will still get emergency care if it is needed.
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Another change will be the use of non-traditional hospital beds and care spaces inside their hospitals. They are telling patients their bed may be a stretcher or a cot, they may be placed in a room with another patient or they may end up in a hallway or waiting room.
NGHS is letting potential patients know that if they are unable to handle a particular case due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, there is a possibility that the care team may request to move a patient to another unit or another hospital.
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The health system has also has issued a reminder to anyone visiting their facilities throughout north and northeast Georgia.
They’ve made available a list of visitation guidelines on their website.
They are asking patients and their families to understand that they are reviewing and evaluating their guidelines and procedures on a daily basis.
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