In Manila Standard’s The Good LIFE episode on October 1, one viewer asked our guest, Dr. Marion Kwek of Makati Medical Center, the said question, referring to whether outpatients and those who have standing appointments or seeking medical care could come to the hospital again without compromising their health and safety.
She said “yes,” and Makati Med’s medical director Saturnino Javier, MD and newly installed president and chief executive Pilar Nenuca Almira recently explained why.
Leading healthcare institution Makati Med lives up to its vision to be the country’s trusted hospital as it lays down measures that ensure patients and staff’s safety while in their premises.
After recording its first COVID-19 case early in March and reaching full capacity in the same month, the hospital quickly implemented safety protocols to manage the situation.
Makati Med’s strict infection prevention and control protocols, expansion of bed facilities, infrastructure revisions and adjustments, and COVID-19 testing laboratory accreditation (which “leads the pack in terms of volume testing” according to Dr. Javier), among others have helped the Makati hospital keep its mortality rate low and recovery rate high.
As of Oct, 16, Dr. Javier reported Makati Med recorded 2.6 percent mortality rate (140 deaths out of 5,321 COVID cases) and 95 percent recovery rate (5,072 recovered patients).
“Our recovery rate is higher than PH numbers,” declared Dr. Javier. The country’s recovery rate as of Oct. 16 stood at 86 percent.
Makati Med “gradually, cautiously, partially, and selectively” resumed its clinic operations on May 18, rebuilding the public’s confidence by implementing government-mandated protocols and more.
Strictly enforced in the premises are the no mask and face shield, no entry policy; social distancing; hand washing; contactless interactions; and proper donning of personal protective equipment.
Visitors, companions, and guests are limited; one medical doctor is assigned per floor; and clinics are retrofitted with HEPA filter and acrylic shields to ensure minimal contact between patients and physicians. The emergency rooms are also equipped with retractable hoods with HEPA filter.
“These protocols do not exist in malls and other public places, but maintained in hospitals,” said Dr. Javier. “With protocols in place, we can diminish the pervasive fear among healthcare professionals and patients.”
The medical director encourages patients to come to the hospital especially if they need constant and immediate care.
“As much as people want to avoid exposure and stay at home, the pandemic should not stop you from going to the hospital for other medical conditions and illnesses,” said Dr. Javier.
To further ease patients’ apprehension to come to the hospital, Makati Med has designated COVID-19 wing zones on 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th floors.
All outpatient centers and doctors’ clinics are open to serve patients, while the emergency rooms, Dr. Javier said, now accommodate patients as soon as possible. Test results are released within 24 to 48 hours.
“If you’re identified as COVID suspect, you will be designated to hot zones,” he added. “And if you have been admitted in COVID wing, there is one doctor who makes the rounds to see you.”
Dr. Javier further added, “We understand there are many who are afraid to go to hospitals. For those who are still afraid we will bring the service of Makati Med whether corporate or home setting with the expansion of our home care services.”
Here’s what to expect when you visit Makati Med:
Patients have to go through a screening process that begins by setting an appointment and answering the patient health screening form online, through Makati Med On-Call, or the clinic secretary.
Walk-in patients are screened at entrances, companions are also required to go through the same health screening process. Both visitors and patient companions will be given an ID pass for safety monitoring. The hospital discourages seniors and children visitors as much as possible.
Patients with any symptom of possible COVID-19 are advised to seek teleconsultation, and to proceed immediately to the hospital for RT-PCR testing and possible confinement if warranted.
Rules inside hospital premises
Everyone who goes to Makati Med must wear a face mask and a face shield. The hospital allows cloth face masks and surgical masks as long as they do not have a valve. The face shield should also cover the entire face. Temperature scanning is also required at the entrance of the hospital.
Makati Med encourages guests to constantly practice hand hygiene and observe social distancing especially in common areas such as the lobbies and waiting rooms.
Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers and pump style hand sanitizer dispensers are also deployed throughout the hospital.
Makati Med housekeeping staff is responsible for the pre-cleaning, disinfection, misting, and Ultraviolet C (UVC) light disinfection of all areas round the clock. Exam rooms are also disinfected between each patient use, as each unit has an assigned cleaner.
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