07 Jun 2020
In the wake of the serious advance of COVID-19, Hanh Phuc International Hospital is stepping up to the frontlines of the country’s fight against the pandemic. Le Thi Thu Thao, Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of the Medical Council of the hospital, shared the latest developments about the hospital’s preparations and readiness in this health crisis.
Ever-Ready And Well Prepared
The management team of Hanh Phuc International Hospital has set up a Disaster and Epidemic Management Committee and Disaster and Epidemic Rapid Response Team to set out and apply further COVID-19 mitigation procedures. They will also conduct drills on disaster and epidemic response in the hospital to train all healthcare workers. Since the beginning of February, the hospital has been proactive in implementing measures in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, with constant updates to keep the public informed, and compliance with new regulations and directions from the Ministry of Health and Department of Health.
Dr. Le Thi Thu Thao, Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of the Medical Council of the hospital
Hanh Phuc Hospital established the COVID-19 Management Committee, Steering Committee and Rapid Response Team to respond to any development in the outbreak. The Committee holds meetings once a week and separate meetings to update staff on the situation and respond promptly to emergencies.
It has also been implementing medical declarations, screening all patients and visitors, and monitoring the movements of patients and visitors by developing management procedures.
Customers need to submit a medical declaration before visiting Hanh Phuc International Hospital
Screenings were implemented very early on in the crisis, on February 3, 2020. The hospital screens 100 percent of staff, as well as patients and visitors before they enter the hospital and clinics. They are also required to fill in a Triage Questionnaire for COVID-19 and have their temperature taken. People are also instructed on hygiene and the correct way to wear masks, and are warned to keep a safe distance (approximately 6 feet) from others and not to touch their face. At Hanh Phuc International Hospital there are two separate screening counters – one for paediatric patients and their parents/caregivers and one for O&G patients and their relatives. Other clinics have a single screening counter.
The screening counters each link to an isolation room, providing the shortest route and creating a separate pathway to prevent contamination in the event of suspected positive cases.
Patient movements are also strictly monitored, with hospital security strategically placed to oversee entrances and exits at all times. Posters outside the hospital, sign boards, and online media are also used to notify visitors of important information.
Customers and patients visiting Hanh Phuc Hospital enter the hospital through either one of the screening counters. Both screening counters are managed by healthcare workers who guide customers through submitting their health and travel declarations, the proper use of masks, and checking their condition for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or fever before being allowed entry to the hospital.
Patients discharged from the hospital and visitors can leave through the exit route via the main entrance where they are separated from the two screening counters, to ensure safe exit.
Protocols were put in place immediately for the management of suspected cases, with the designated isolation room for examination equipped with a HEPA filter, and full personal protective equipment (PPE) provided to healthcare workers (HCWs). After an examination, patients at risk of infection will be transferred to higher-level hospitals or centralised quarantine facilities designated by the Ministry of Health and the Department of Health.
Healthcare workers are provided with adequate PPE, according to the relevant standards, including masks, disposable clothes (caps, gowns, trousers, boots, and gloves, among other items) to ensure all medical staff are protected from exposure to infection and to protect patients.
Additionally, from as early as December 17, 2019 – as soon as domestic and international media reported cases of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to the new virus – Hanh Phuc Hospital began organising related trainings for healthcare workers and patients and family members.
Lessons From Sars 2003
The epidemic response plan is an integral part of Joint Commission International (JCI) standards, for which Hanh Phuc flies the flag, as the first mother and child hospital with this accreditation in Vietnam. Hanh Phuc hospital is fully prepared with facilities, processes, and human resources to quickly respond to the epidemic.
Key hospital staff include leading experts in disease management and infection control and experience in responding to previous epidemics such as the 2003-2004 SARS outbreak, the 2004-2005 H5N1 avian influenza, and the 2007-2009 H1N1 influenza.
Hanh Phuc Hospital’s Disaster and Epidemic Management Committee and Disaster and Epidemic Rapid Response Team have been consistently promulgating and applying procedures and conducting drills on disaster and epidemic response and prevention. All of these activities meet the Ministry of Health and JCI’s standards.
With ensuring the safety of patients as the priority, the Board of Directors as well as the Disaster and Epidemic Management Committee and Disaster and Epidemic Rapid Response Team have activated the existing response and prevention protocols and have crafted action plans to quickly respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and prevent its spread in hospitals or the community. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, Hanh Phuc International Hospital also constantly updates plans to comply with new regulations and directives from the Department of Health and the Ministry of Health.