In this continuation of our feature on COVID-19, EP Lab Digest talks with Martha G. Ferrara, DNP, RN, CCDS, FHRS, Assistant Director of EP Services at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York, about preparations and changes in regards to COVID-19.
How have day-to-day aspects of your practice since last week?
We have implemented workflows into our existent office routines to protect patients and health care workers in support of slowing COVID-19 spread. Protocols, in step with CDC recommendations, include screening questions with appointment confirmations prior to office visits, and providing patients with a hotline number for more in-depth questions and accurate information sharing. Our office has twice a day equipment cleaning by our staff, like our keyboards, telephones, and counters, with recommended cleansers. There are signs posted, including a hospital hotline number, for coronavirus information and screening. No visitors are allowed, and temperature checks prior to entrance are being conducted at all facilities on the hospital campus. Updated information is provided by administration on a regular basis and disseminated to staff.
Do you agree with the cancellations and postponing of cardiology conferences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I agree more with postponing conferences; cancellations should be closer to dates of conferences, as this is a rapidly changing environment and information is daily; following recommendations provided from trusted agencies such as the CDC, WHO, and the U.S. Surgeon General is best.
What changes are you seeing in the city(ies) where you practice and live?
I work in New York, Westchester County, and the changes implemented are in step with CDC recommendations and the direction of state-level government officials. As of this writing, restaurants, casinos, bars, gyms, and movie theaters will close; with restaurants shifting to takeout and delivery services. NYC schools will close by mandate until further notice. Supermarkets and pharmacies remain open.
What precautions are you taking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Personally, I am social distancing (canceling mini-vacation and work-related events), staying indoors, and avoid unnecessary shopping trips. I listen to updates daily on current recommendations. I am informing my family members, friends and anyone who asks if there is “any new COVID-19 information.” I also participate in the Twitter community and keep reading information from trusted sources in this social platform, like WHO and CDC sites.
Stay tuned for more coverage of COVID-19 in EP Lab Digest!