Envision Healthcare, a leading national medical group, is prepared to support communities as hurricane season gets underway – meeting the dual challenge of caring for patients during natural disasters while continuing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season began June 1, and ends Nov. 30. Early predictions indicate a more active and severe hurricane season than usual. Pennsylvania State’s Earth System Science Center predicts 20 named storms will form during this season.
“We are focused on the health and safety of our communities and have taken early action to prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters while treating patients for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 conditions,” said Doug Smith, MD, FACEP, President of Envision Physician Services. “We have comprehensive disaster management protocols and work closely with our network of healthcare partners, including hospitals, local emergency medical services and state and federal agencies, to execute a coordinated response. We will continue to adhere to clinical best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Envision clinicians have led the nation’s efforts to provide care in several national emergencies and natural disasters, including recent hurricanes Harvey, Michael and Irma.
“Envision has extensive experience preparing for, responding to, and helping communities recover after emergencies,” said Mansoor Khan, MD, MHA, Senior Vice President and Director of Envision’s ENVOY Program. “We understand the unique challenges communities face during natural disasters and are prepared to help them through the next crisis, just as we are doing with the pandemic. This includes the deployment of our ENVOY travel team comprised of multiple clinical specialists who are often the first deployed to provide extra support to those who need it most.”
As communities in coastal areas prepare for hurricanes, Envision is reminding people to consider the following:
- Keep updated copies of your medical records, the contact information of your medical providers and a list of any allergies and medical conditions easily accessible.
- Maintain at least a seven-day supply of essential prescriptions and medications. This is especially important for those with chronic medical conditions like diabetes.
- Follow guidance from your local officials on when and where to shelter or evacuate.
- Continue to practice personal hygiene, follow safety guidelines, and keep items such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap and face masks accessible.
- Exercise social distancing, staying at least 6 feet apart from individuals outside of your household.
- Consider the needs of vulnerable loved ones and neighbors, especially children, the elderly and pregnant women.
- Notify utility companies and medical providers if you or a family member has life-support equipment or supplies that depend on electricity to function.
- Know where available resources are, including nearby hospitals and shelters, and when to seek appropriate help.
Envision has taken a series of actions to respond to sharp increases in COVID-19 patients and protect and support its clinicians on the front lines, including:
- Mobilizing to meet the need for more physicians and advanced practice providers across the nation. Envision provided support to 55 medical sites by deploying more than 500 clinicians to care for COVID-19 patients. Anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists from the anesthesiology provider team met the unprecedented demand for care. Clinicians will continue to be deployed to address surging hot spots across the country.
- Securing more than 5 million items of PPE, including masks, face shields, gowns, and goggles to support Envision’s clinicians and hospital partners. This PPE is being delivered to areas of greatest need.
- Deploying telehealth platforms to care for more than one-hundred thousand patient visits. Telehealth technology allows Envision’s clinicians to practice social distancing, preserves necessary PPE, and safely brings families to the bedside to help comfort patients.