We find ourselves at an unprecedented time in our country with the COVID-19 virus situation. While COVID-19 is new and with it comes a new set of challenges, preparing for and responding to disasters is not new to Mercyhealth. We have a very talented team of specialty and sub specialty physicians, nurses and other providers working tirelessly to ensure the safety of patients and partners. Nothing is more important to us than your health, and we are doing everything we can to ensure patients, staff and our communities remain safe.
I would like to share with you some of the many ways we have and continue to prepare for COVID-19. Our unique expertise with infectious disease means we are following protocols and safety measures and the recommendations set for by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
We have established a system-wide incident command center to rapidly respond to the needs of all our hospitals and clinics across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Mercyhealth providers and other health care experts participate on a variety of city and county-wide emergency teams across our region. State and local public health agencies, emergency management agencies, hospitals, and city communities are working together to determine thresholds, needed resources and support for health system infrastructures. Mercyhealth has played an active role in this planning along with others, to support our community’s current and future needs.
We are also working closely with EMS to ensure our first responders are adequately trained and prepared to deal with this evolving situation. We are doing everything we can now to be prepared, but we still need the residents in our communities to practice social distancing so that we can slow the spread of this virus.
Personal Protective Equipment
Our system-wide Incident Command team is working together at all our hospitals to ensure we are coordinating our PPE stock and equipment where it is needed. We have also seen an outpouring of people in our communities wanting to help by providing equipment. Collection sites have been set up at the visitor representative welcome centers at each of our hospital main lobbies.
Donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 9 am-3 pm. We have seen an amazing response from the community, from donations of a box of N-95’s to production of thousands of face shields.
Mercyhealth understands that patients must be seen during this time of great uncertainty. Our new convenient service Mercyhealth teleMedicine allows patients to connect with board certified primary and specialty care physicians* for secure, live, on demand video visits, using a computer, smartphone or tablet. From a follow-up physician visit, to counseling and medication refills to common health concerns–Mercyhealth teleMedicine is here for you from the comfort of your home. To make an appointment with your Mercyhealth physician, visit mercyhealthtelemedicine.com.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing—we have several ways for you to be screened:
- Mercyhealth Virtual Visit Now
You can speak with a provider online using Mercyhealth Virtual Visit Now. This 24/7 online urgent care is a safe, convenient way to get expert medical advice from the comfort of your home. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit mercyhealthsystem.org/service/virtual-visit-now for more information. In addition to COVID-19 screening, Virtual Visit Now Virtual Visit Now can be ideal for treating things like seasonal allergies; cold, cough, bronchitis and flu; sinus and upper respiratory infections; conjunctivitis/pink eye; skin conditions; lower back pain; and urinary tract infections.
- Mercyhealth Patient Hotline
You can call our toll-free Covid-19 Nurse Hotline at (833) 648-0057. Registered Nurses are online Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm and Saturday and Sunday 8-11 and 3:30-8 pm. After/in between hours the line will be answered by our Healthline who can answer basic questions and transfer to physicians on call, provide Virtual Visit Now information as appropriate.Someone will provide you with information and connect you with a health care professional if needed.
- Call your primary care doctor’s office
They will screen you over the phone to determine if you need further care.
For a wealth of information and the latest updates I encourage you to visit: mercyhealthsystem.org/coronavirus
We will get through this together, and I assure you we will do everything in our power to protect the health of every patient, and the communities we serve.
Stay safe and well,