The head of the Hudson Regional Hospital said today that the number of COVID-19 discharges is increasing as the hospital has been gradually learning how best to treat patients fighting the virus.
By March Bussanich/Hudson County View
The hospital’s president and chief executive officer, Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, said in a Zoom media call this morning that in the early stages of the spread of the coronavirus the hospital saw a huge influx of patients being admitted for showing symptoms.
There were 60 to 65 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 that died at the hospital, a “staggering” trend, but said that more encouraging results have come about recently.
“Those numbers are staggering, but over the past couple of weeks the number has been decreasing significantly, which is a great sign for us in terms of the level of care that is being provided,” began Kifaieh.
“On the flip side, we’ve had over 86 to 90 discharges from the hospital for COVID patients, which is a number we’re extremely happy with.”
He also noted that the hospital has had seven extubations of patients that he said were critically ill, and that two of those patients have already returned home.
“I’m extremely happy to see especially a couple of those patients that ended up going home, it was very touching, and it was a great accomplishment for us as an institution,” Kifaieh said.
He then addressed what he felt is accounting for the decreasing number of deaths and an increase in the number of discharges.
For starters, he noted a better understanding of the actual disease, as well as a better understanding of when to intervene – as well as the specific type of treatments for different patients based on a multidisciplinary approach that encourages input from a variety of specialists such as hospitalists, pulmonary critical care physicians and cardiologists.
“Of course, we’ve learned a lot of that as we moved on just like any health care provider and health care facility, we’ve learned as we went forward with this process, and we’re doing so much better with our patients.”
He added that there is a lot of communication between the hospital and different institutions thanks to a Listserv that was created that allows staff at HRH to communicate with and share notes with hospital staff in some of the world’s hardest hit areas – including Italy and Spain.
“We’ communicated with different institutions around the world about what they’ve tried, what they’ve done and their success stories, and we exchanged a lot of that with other health care providers just to make sure that we’re doing the right thing for these patients,” said Kifaieh.
The doctor then addressed a report in hMag this morning indicating that the telemedicine company hired by the hospital to provide COVID-19 testing results to patients, Radius Telemed, are also soliciting them for supplemental services – which come with added costs.
Kifaieh defended the company, stating that they have been providing great service.
After providing the COVID-19 results, RT then offers patients the opportunity to initiate a virtual medical visit so that patients can ask additional questions related to pre-exisiting conditions that may have contributed to contracting the coronavirus.
“When someone comes for the COVID-19 testing, it doesn’t mean they don’t have other issues [such as] diabetes and high blood pressure. Patients will have questions about their care that we’re not going to provide here at the testing center, which makes the collaboration with Radius really optimal for some of those patients.”
“So, to me, it’s a great service that is being provided to the patients in case they need it.”