Renown Health Further Expands Visitor Policy; Encourages Two Loved Ones To Provide Support To Patients
Always listening to the voice of the patient, Renown Health is pleased to welcome any two patient supporters to visit their loved ones during their Renown medical visit, surgery, birthing or hospital stay. Renown continues to have extra safety measures in place to protect the health of patients, visitors and healthcare employees, and as the situation changes with COVID-19, these guidelines are subject to change. Under this updated visitor policy, patients no longer need to identify their supporters ahead of their arrival. Patients may receive more than two visitors per day; however, to help ensure adequate physical distancing, only two guests are asked to visit at a time. All people entering Renown sites must continue bringing and wearing a face mask for their entire visit, including inside patient rooms. Renown’s visitor policy updates were inspired by family members, who requested that the policy be expanded to encourage two family members per day to be able to visit a loved one who was hospitalized at Renown. The request was approved by Dr. Debra Adornetto-Garcia, Chief Nursing Officer and Dr. Paul Sierzenski, Chief Medical Officer, both of Acute Services. With a high percentage of Renown hospital staff now vaccinated against COVID-19, declining hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19, and understanding that the best communication is in-person, as of April 28, 2021, Renown hospitals and medical practices now allow two visitors, instead of one, for all patients and have put extra safety measures in place to protect patients, visitors and healthcare employees. “We are pleased to expand our visitor policy and welcome two healthy adult patient supporters to accompany every patient to their Renown medical visit or hospital stay,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown. “We are always looking to our patients’ lived experiences to help us address the health needs of our community. Just a few months ago, we were reminded by Darlene Randolph that the best care is ‘person-centered care’, which inspired us to be one of the first healthcare organizations in the nation to expand our visitor policy to all patients, including those with COVID-19. Today, we thank our patients’ family members for voicing the importance of a larger, connected support system to help foster the best healing environment for all patients.” “At Renown, the definition of ‘family’ is defined by the patient,” said Debra Adornetto-Garcia, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, AOCN, Chief Nursing Officer, Acute Services. “Our patients may have anyone they choose as their patient supporters, and these individuals serve as an invaluable extension of our care teams. Patient supporters are asked to partner with the patient’s healthcare team to assist in communicating to other family members and friends, participating in training and education activities and assisting the patient with complying with care and medication instructions.” “Visiting the hospital can be an anxious experience,” said Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, CPE, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services. “It’s incredible how the company of loved ones can reduce anxiety and promote healing. What we can do together with families to support patient care and excellent outcomes is greater than what any of us can do alone. We are glad to welcome patient supporters to our hospitals to help our patients feel more at ease, so they can focus on their recovery, health and healing.” Two patient supporters per patient are now able to access Renown campuses as noted: Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For Intensive Care Units (ICU): 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors must be at least 12 years of age or older. Renown Children’s Hospital: Open access. For the Pediatric unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU): Visitors must be at least 12 years of age or older. For the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Visitors must be at least 18 years of age or older. Renown Rehabilitation Hospital: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One designated patient supporter is allowed to visit the patient inside their room throughout the duration of their stay. Other loved ones may visit from an exterior window, outside the patient's room. Our care team is also pleased to facilitate bedside virtual visits. In addition to in-person visits, there are many ways to brighten the day of a patient at Renown Hospitals. You can send a personalized message that will be hand-delivered to your loved one, call 775-982-4100 to speak with a patient, or our care team is pleased to facilitate virtual visits via computer or tablet from the bedside. Renown Health reserves the right to limit visitors in the best interests of patients, families, visitors or staff.
Faster, Better Testing For COVID; Physician Researchers At Renown Health And UNR Med Seek Convalescent Plasma Study Participants
Physician researchers seek to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 and create a healthier Nevada. During the early stages of the pandemic, convalescent plasma was considered the only viable treatment option available for patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is the component of the blood from recovered patients that may contain COVID-19 antibodies that help fight the infection. The National Institutes of Health has since developed treatment guidelines for COVID-19 based on clinical trial data and many studies are still underway worldwide assessing various additional treatment options. Convalescent plasma was in high demand but difficult to locate for COVID-19 patients in the northern Nevada area. A 24-year-old nursing assistant, Austin Meegan, was hospitalized and spent weeks staving off kidney and lung failure before learning he was eligible for an experimental blood transfusion that showed promise in treating COVID-19. Doctors estimated Meegan had only about a 3% chance of tracking down a donor to match his rare blood type. A COVID-19 survivor, Thomas Gibson, a Texas resident with the same blood type, traveled to Reno to donate his viral antibodies and a convalescent plasma donation credited with helping to save Meegan’s life. Physician clinical researchers and scientists at Renown and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) knew they needed to create better options for patients and physicians. Clinical researchers developed a study to help other patients like Austin, and pleaded for donations from recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their convalescent plasma. The researcher teams looked to understand how the body’s immune system responds to the virus over time, to aid them in developing new treatments for COVID-19. “The world’s capacity to get through the COVID crisis will depend on four things — science, technology, innovation and partnerships, says Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “Taking lab bench discoveries to the bedside of patients in an efficacious and timely manner is not easy, but with UNR Med and our partners, we are making great strides in advancing clinical research which has the power to save lives and to create a healthier Nevada.” “It’s tremendously promising to partner on clinical research that will not only help us better understand the disease, but help inform treatment for those combatting COVID-19 that has had such a devastating impact on Nevadans, our nation and the world,” says UNR Med Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, MD. Renown, UNR Med and other area health care partners collaborated with Vitalant to collect plasma from recovered donors for a study on the treatment's efficacy. Eligible donors are at least 18 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and are healthy. Donors had fully recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Project coordinators at the Renown Research Office were overwhelmed by the community’s support and plasma blood donations. Additional partnerships with the Washoe County Health District, the State of Nevada and the Governor’s office, Saint Mary’s Medical Center, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Carson Tahoe Health and the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, along with many area health care providers helped the team meet their goals of enrolling 120 eligible participants in the study. “Our success in this study rests heavily on the support of our great community, as well as the innovation and collaboration demonstrated by Renown and UNR Med,” said Sara Healy, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and a pediatric infectious disease physician at Renown Children’s Hospital and UNR Med. “We are proud to be at the forefront of conducting essential research during such a pivotal time in history, and look forward to our continued partnership as we continue this important work.” “The control of COVID-19 in our communities relies on testing. The study that is being launched to develop a sensitive, specific and easier way to collect specimens (blood) is advancing the field and brings promise towards getting to our common goal of having the right diagnostic test for the right clinical situation at the right time,” says Mark Riddle, MD, DrPH, FISTM, associate investigator of the study and associate dean for clinical research and professor at UNR Med's Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research. The research team is now asking area residents to participate in a study to analyze the efficacy of two COVID-19 tests. Participants will undergo two blood tests: one being a finger stick to provide results for a rapid test, and the other is a traditional venipuncture draw confirming the presence or absence of COVID-19 antibodies. This study is a collaboration with InBios International, Inc., a leading biotechnology company based in Seattle. Researchers are seeking: Individuals who have confirmed positive for COVID-19 and who have recently recovered from the virus. Study participants must be within 7-28 days from the onset of their symptoms. Individuals who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 and have never tested positive. Those who are interested in participating in the study may contact project coordinators at the Renown Research Office at (775) 982-3646, or via e-mail at email@example.com, 7:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. Individuals aged 18-75 in general good health are encouraged to consider participating in this ongoing study. There is no cost to participate in this study and participation is voluntary. An individual’s decision to participate will not affect their current or future relations with their health care provider(s), health district, or the community. Those who decide to participate are free to withdraw at any time. “Time is of the essence with COVID. If we can get test results to people and their clinicians in a more timely way, we can make a faster diagnosis of a patient's condition, says Christopher M. Kozlowski, MD, MHA, Renown's institutional research officer and Medical Director/VP of Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. “As we refine the accuracy of our testing; we are applying sensitivity and specificity testing for true negative and true positive results. This provides people with more timely and accurate results and better quality care.” About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improve the care and the health of our community. About the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.
Renown Health adds an electrostatic cleaning system to its list of innovative technology used to sanitize hospital rooms and equipment. During a time when many people might worry about seeking emergency care in fear of coming into contact with COVID-19, Renown Health is committed to the health and safety of everyone who enters our doors. As an added layer of protection for patients and staff, Renown is using a new electrostatic cleaning system to clean its emergency room. The same technology is also being used to sanitize Renown’s deployable medical facility outside its emergency room, employee dressing rooms and break areas, X-ray machines and more. The system kills 19 organisms in just two minutes including cold and flu viruses, MRSA and norovirus. “At Renown Health, we want our community to know that we are committed to providing a sanitary and safe environment,” said Renown’s manager of environmental services, Michael Yaranon. “Our electrostatic cleaning system is being used daily to help ensure our facilities are ready to safely care for our patients, as well as provide a clean environment for our caregivers who work in them. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have continuously looked for new ways to expand our cleaning efforts, and the electrostatic cleaning system has served our facilities and hospital equipment well.” In use at Renown since March of this year, the cleaning system uses a disinfecting solution included on the EPA’s list of registered antimicrobial products for use against novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is the cause of COVID-19. As an added safety precaution, the electrostatic technology helps the solution thoroughly clean and sanitize both hard and soft surfaces. This special cleaning technology is now being used in hospitals, commercial planes and hotels around the world to eliminate the spread of potentially dangerous pathogens. The handheld cleaning system is operated by a Renown employee. Once turned on, the machine uses an air compressor – with a force stronger than gravity – to dispel the disinfectant solution. Inside the device, an electrode introduces an attractive charge and atomizes the solution. Once the solution is propelled, the charged particles are instantly attracted to the surface being cleaned. The solution then reaches and wraps around the entire surface to uniformly coat and disinfect. “Between our electrostatic cleaning system, germ-zapping robots, and diligent team of employees all operating around the clock to clean and disinfect, we truly are fighting the good fight against germs at Renown Health,” said Yaranon. “Please do not put off coming to Renown for emergency care if you need it – our facilities and equipment are extremely safe and ready to serve you.” For an in-person or virtual demo of Renown’s electrostatic cleaning system, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a time. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at https://www.renown.org/covid-19/. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
With the help of state-of-the-art, germ-removal technology, Renown Health touts another layer of protection to keep patients and staff safe. As hospitals around the country look for innovative ways to enhance quality patient care and eliminate the presence of germs and other bacteria, Renown Health’s four, germ-zapping robots are working around the clock to eliminate contagious superbugs in just minutes. The Xenex germ-zapping robots use pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV-C) light that is 25,000 times more powerful than sunlight to effectively eliminate harmful superbugs, including coronavirus (COVID-19), Clostridium difficile (C. diff), MRSA, norovirus, influenza, measles and Ebola. The portable robots are used as an extra layer of patient protection and are brought into operating rooms and certain patient rooms after hospital staff have done a thorough cleaning of the area. Renown was the first in the region to use this technology back in 2015, and is now joined by hundreds of other hospitals nationwide also using the robots, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Sharp and Stanford. The technology has been credited with helping U.S. facilities in healthcare and hospitality settings reduce their rates of infection. “Our germ-zapping robots are a testament to the best practices put in place at Renown Health to enhance patient and staff health,” said Chris Baker, director, facilities engineering at Renown. “They operate 365 days a year, and help contribute to the unprecedented sanitary conditions that we pride ourselves on throughout all of our healthcare sites.” Because the Xenex robots use UV light to disinfect rooms, they are able to reach every surface in the room and do not leave any chemical residue. To disinfect a room after standard cleaning procedures have taken place, a hospital employee wheels the robot into the room, begins the automated sequence, and then leaves the room to allow the robot to eliminate any bacteria in just five minutes. “Renown has long been recognized as the region’s leader in technology and specialized care,” said Baker. “So, it’s only fitting that we apply this advanced technology to our methodical and detailed sanitizing measures.” To view the germ-zapping robots in action, check out this video. Xenex information on COVID-19. About Renown Health Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org. About Xenex Disinfection Services Xenex is a world leader in UV technology-based infection prevention strategies and solutions. Xenex’s mission is to save lives and reduce suffering by destroying the deadly microorganisms that cause hospital acquired infections. Xenex is backed by well-known investors that include EW Healthcare Partners, Piper Jaffray, Malin Corporation, Battery Ventures, Targeted Technology Fund II, Tectonic Ventures and RK Ventures. For more information, visit www.xenex.com.