LRH Makes Adjustments to Hospital Operations Due to COVID-19
March 27, 2020
Littleton, NH - Since 1907, Littleton Regional Healthcare has been meeting the healthcare needs of our region. In our modern facility, LRH is prepared to serve our region during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Four weeks ago, LRH activated its Emergency Incident Command System in response to the COVID -19 public health emergency. The Incident Command System is a management system that assists hospitals and healthcare organizations in improving emergency management planning, response, and recovery capabilities for unplanned and planned events. By utilizing the principles in Incident Command System, LRH is prepared for the projected dramatic increase in patient volume due to the pandemic, commonly referred to as a "surge".
Robert Nutter, President & CEO states, "LRH is facing unprecedented challenges. We continue to adapt to this evolving situation, with the primary priority being the health and well-being of our workforce, patients, and community members. In order to meet our region's expected needs for critical care services presented by COVID-19, LRH is working diligently to prepare hospital operations to accommodate the expected surge."
Mr. Nutter outlined LRH's readiness and preparations to meet the needs of the community during this extraordinary crisis.
- COVID-19 Patient Virtual Visit Line: A low cost, consulting line answered by LRH Medical Staff to address medical concerns regarding COVID-19. Effective, March 30th at 8AM, please call the 24/7 line 603-575-6000 to initiate a visit and speak to one of our providers.
- COVID-19 Hotline: For other LRH related questions, please call 603-575-6400.
- Emergency Department Respiratory Triage Area (EDRTA): An isolated area for suspected COVID-19 patients is open for medical screening. All other emergency department and hospital patients are cared for in separate areas.
- Patient Flow Planning: LRH has developed a plan to accommodate a large number of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including an increased capacity from 25 beds to at least 81 beds.
- Supplies & Equipment: LRH continues to work to assure we have adequate supplies, personal protection equipment (PPEs), and medication not only for day-to-day operations but also for any COVID-19 related events. Our North Country Pharmacy, located in the Medical Office Building, remains open. I wish to thank our community businesses who have generously donated supplies, food and other items.
- Ventilators: LRH has secured additional breathing machines for use during the surge.
- Fit Testing: LRH has tested staff, providers, and community partners to ensure proper filtration mask protection.
- Continued Education: LRH is supporting on-going education by physicians, other providers and staff on caring for patients with COVID-19.
- Screening: All employees, patients, and visitors are screened prior to entering our facility. This ensures our building is as secure and safe as possible.
- Tele-ICU: Opened in December of 2019, this service in collaboration with Dartmouth Hitchcock remains in place to assist in the care of critically ill patients.
- Tele-Medicine: LRH physicians and providers continue to see patients via our expanded tele-medicine capabilities. Consistent with recommendations by CDC and Governor Sununu's recent stay-at-home order, patients may have virtual visits with our Medical Staff regarding non COVID-19 and routine healthcare needs. To schedule a visit, please call your doctor's office.
LRH has adjusted staffing levels to meet current volumes and reassigned other staff to focus on the projected increase of COVID-19 patients. LRH will continue to communicate to its workforce and expect to return to normal staffing levels as soon as practical when the pandemic subsides.
For the past month, LRH has been working with our healthcare partners as well as local, state and federal authorities to minimize the projected disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. LRH will continue to monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our medical staff, workforce, and community.