“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change …”
At Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, we believe that effectively navigating the many challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic requires courage and the willingness to continually adapt. While many aspects of our lives have ground to a halt, the serious conditions we treat have not. In fact, in many cases, these conditions are exacerbated by the stressful circumstances we are now facing. Frequently, the essential healthcare services we offer cannot be put on hold – they must be made available to people who are desperate to receive them. We remain committed to offering these critical services while proactively adapting to the challenges of coronavirus to ensure safety for patients, their families, and our employees.
With this overarching ethos in mind, we would like to update you on changes we are making to provide the highest quality treatment in the safest environment possible. First, we are continually modifying our COVID-19 screening questions to accurately reflect the most recent scientific research and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The answers to these screening questions are reviewed by medical professionals in our intake department and, if needed, members of our COVID-19 Response Team, to limit potential risks so that people can safely admit to our treatment programs. Currently, there are no reports of COVID-19 at any of our treatment programs.
Additionally, we are very excited to announce that we will be offering COVID-19 antibody screening tests to all patients. Prior to admission, patients will meet with a nurse who will check vital signs (especially temperature), assess for any symptoms of illness (like cough or difficulty breathing), and administer an antibody screening test, which can offer information about current and past infection with the COVID-19 virus. Patients who test negative for active infection will be promptly admitted to their designated treatment program. Patients who test positive for active infection will be encouraged to admit to our newly designed, standalone treatment program called the Observational Treatment Center (OTC). At no additional cost, patients at the OTC will receive at least 14 days of treatment for COVID-19 infection with 24/7 nursing care, medical and psychiatric services, and robust clinical programming.
Additionally, based on recent recommendations from the CDC, all patients will be required to wear a face mask for the first 14 days of treatment. Patients will also receive follow-up repeat antibody screening tests during their first two weeks of treatment to confirm negative results over time. If a patient develops any concerning symptoms of illness while in treatment, they will be transferred to an observation bed in a private room with close monitoring by medical professionals until a diagnosis is made and symptoms completely resolve. Lastly, among our patients and employees, we continue to promote enhanced cleaning of building facilities and surfaces with an advanced antimicrobial product, proper handwashing and hygiene techniques, daily monitoring of temperature and symptoms of illness, social distancing, no outside visitation to our campuses, and valuable telehealth options for family week programing, outpatient workshops, and intensive outpatient services.
None of the measures described here, on their own, are a silver bullet for ensuring safety during this coronavirus pandemic. However, by effectively implementing layer upon layer of screening and safety protocols, we increase the probability that patients and employees will remain safe while engaging in meaningful and effective treatment. All around the world, we are facing extraordinary challenges that will test our courage and our willingness to change. At Meadows Behavioral Healthcare, we are steadfast in our desire to successfully traverse these unique circumstances with creative innovations, rooted in science and best practices, to continue offering people the critical treatment they need and deserve.
Dr. Jon Caldwell, D.O., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer
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