HOUSTON (April 10, 2020) — In response to a possible surge in the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in northeast Harris County, Harris Health System and Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital have added nearly 2,000 square feet of medical tents to respond to manage the anticipated increase in patient volume and keep staff and non-COVID-19 patients safe.
The medical-grade tents are equipped with electricity, air conditioning and connection to information technology. The tents allow staff to screen patients for the virus before patients enter the hospital. Patients can then be triaged to reduce the chance of virus spread inside the building.
“Harris Health and the staff at LBJ Hospital are ready to respond to the ever-changing aspects of this global pandemic,” says Patricia Darnauer, executive vice president and administrator, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. “Our medical tents are just one component of our agile response plan that is designed to meet our community’s medical needs and keep our employees and patients safe.”
The new tents give staff the capacity to screen up to 30 patients at a time. As hospital leadership looks ahead to an expected surge in COVID-19 cases in Harris County and Houston, a section of the tents will be used to separate suspected COVID-19 patients and keep them away from others in the emergency center.
“The tents are not testing sites,” says Derek Curtis Sr., chief nursing officer, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. “They are a medical best practice that will limit potential COVID-19 transmission throughout the hospital and protect emergency center patients who present with non-COVID-19 healthcare needs.”
The emergency medical tents are also a reminder to the community of the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus and the safety measures recommended by public health authorities.
“We hope it will encourage the public to continue practicing social distancing behaviors that will help flatten the curve and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed with unthinkable patient volumes,” says Aown Syed, vice president, Operations, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.