Medical Group Stays "Sussex Strong"
When COVID-19 cases in Sussex County first started to spike, Bayhealth Medical Group team members at the Outpatient Center, Sussex Campus wanted to have shirts made that they all could wear as a sign of solidarity. That is how the “Sussex Strong” shirts originated. They quickly became a hot item among employees across the campus.
With the outbreak, the specialty clinics couldn’t see patients on site as they normally did. Working to put the pieces together to transition to telehealth and carry out virtual visits to keep patients well, their staff challenges were very different than those on the front line. Yet, they were also working in the hospital throughout the pandemic—hearing the frequent codes called and other signs of the health crisis unfolding around them. “Seeing the gravity of the situation in the hospital heightened the level of accountability, individually and as a team, and the importance of being there for one another,” said Practice Manager Gina Skipper, MBA, FACHE, CMPE. “We’ve been working together in new and constructive ways.”
When Bayhealth’s reactivation plans were put in motion, Medical Group employees rapidly switched gears to reschedule appointments and procedures—over 550 cases in Gastroenterology alone. In a very short amount of time, all those patients needed to be contacted and pre-screened, and many had to be brought in for in pre-operative visits to have their vital signs checked. Staff secured necessary supplies such as pulse oximeters; set up modified block scheduling; and put other measures in place to adhere to new safety guidelines.
“With all the moving parts, it’s been impressive to see not only how our team has adapted to make things work in our area, but also the bigger picture of how the whole system has come together to get through this,” said Skipper. “A highlight for us has been being a part of the COVID-19 discharges—lining the hallways while the Rocky music plays and celebrating the recoveries with patients and our fellow employees.” As the shirt says, that is what being “Sussex Strong” is all about.