What GW Hospital Is Doing to Protect You During Your Visit

Keeping You Safe During COVID-19: Facebook Live Q&ASeptember 10, 2020

In a recorded Facebook Live event, GW experts share their experiences working at the hospital during the COVID-19 surge this spring. They discuss lessons learned and how learnings were applied to the myriad of safety protocols currently in place. Is it safe to go to the hospital or doctor’s office right now? These experts agree that it’s not only safe, it’s crucial to get the care you need. Delaying care could result in declining health and other complications.

Jeffrey S. Berger, MD, MBA Anesthesiologist and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Berger discusses what people should know about GW Hospital services today, including inpatient visits and outpatient surgery.

"We never closed. Throughout this process, we were gaining information, we were figuring out protocols, we were building our experience and understanding in order to make sure that when we brought forth all the medically necessary cases that had been delayed, we were in a great position to be able to feel really comfortable bringing patients back in a safe and effective manner ... We built new pathways for people to walk through, enter and exit the hospital in a safe manner, we masked everybody so that there was increased safety, even in the hallways ... We wanted to make sure that what we were doing in our hospital was going to be the most safe for everybody."

Tenagne Haile-Mariam, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician

Dr. Haile-Mariam addresses the many safety protocols in place in the ER.

"We've gone a long way to making sure we have a layered and complementary approach to keeping the environment safe for all our patients ... From the very front of the hospital, you get your temperature checked, you get a mask, you get hand sanitizer and you're practicing social distancing ... Then [in the Emergency Department], we have put in some newer technology such as hydrogen peroxide misters that are aerosolized, helping to sanitize the air ... and on top of that we have scattered throughout the ED different kinds of [filtration] devices that use UV light as a disinfectant."

Hana Akselrod, MD, MPH, Infections Diseases Specialist

Dr. Akselrod discusses a possible second wave of COVID-19, and the importance of getting the healthcare you need without delay.

"This virus can turn on a dime ... We know that through a combination of public safety measures, proactive decisions by the district government, and cooperation and collaboration by the people around us, we've been able to get this virus under control regionally. What lies beyond is hard to predict ... We would like to take advantage of the lull we're seeing right now ... If people have been putting off procedures, medical visits, things that were not critical at the time but may become critical if neglected, now is the time to act ... Now is the time to catch up with your doctor and your dentist and your vision check and your foot check to make sure those things don't start falling apart in the fall when we fear seeing another increase in cases."