Protect yourself by obtaining a vaccination against COVID-19 and the Delta strain if you are 12 years or older; seek urgent care if needed The world, the country and our area continue to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with the highly contagious Delta SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. The Renown Health team continues to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illnesses, including those at risk for COVID-19. Renown continues to use current local and national data, analytics, and public data sets for predictive modeling in service to our community. Renown Health ensures constant readiness by working closely with the Washoe County Health District, the Governor’s office, and is informed by updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When there is heightened concern around an illness, we implement enhanced infection prevention strategies to ensure we are ready with the appropriate supplies and alternate plans should the need arise. Renown Health providers are educated and prepared to quickly and safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. “The most important action you can take to protect yourself from the Delta strain and the COVID-19 virus is to get fully vaccinated,” says Brion Hill, MD who practices at the Renown Urgent Care - Los Altos location. “The COVID 19 virus and Delta strain is preventable and controllable through safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, which are free and now widely available in our area. The CDC recommends all people 12 years and older be vaccinated against COVID-19. Recent data show that nearly all COVID-19 deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” A list of providers in our area offering vaccines is available at vaccines.gov.” Protecting Yourself, Friends and Family Dr. Hill adds, “You can protect yourself the same way you would protect against other viruses with a few common-sense practices.” Wear a cloth mask or medical procedure mask when in a public setting. For situations when you are in close contact with people who do not live with you, you may want to consider a mask option that provides a higher level of protection (improved fit and/or improved filtration). Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when soap and water are not available. Use disposable tissues when coughing and sneezing; dispose of carefully and promptly. If tissues are not available, direct your cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm/sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill. Disinfect shared surfaces. Practice social distancing, 6 feet or more. Stay home when you are sick. If you have fever, cough, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms please call your medical provider and explain your symptoms before coming in to their offices. If you do not have a health care provider, and have medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening, visit a Renown Urgent Care physician or healthcare provider. Virtual Urgent Care is available for people for COVID-19 symptoms and Virtual Urgent Care visits are available through MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure online patient portal that allows you to access your Renown Health medical record and manage your health care information. There are 11 conveniently located Renown Urgent Care offices with providers ready to see you 7 days a week. You have the option to book ahead and schedule an appointment at 11 locations near you. How to Get Accurate and Reliable Information: We continue to advise our community regarding the importance of accurate sources of information, and to provide regular updates. For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at renown.org. 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, the region’s only children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to improving the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.
Renown Pharmacy Introduces New Program, Delivering Medications To Patients As They Leave The Hospital
Renown's Medications to Go program offers time-savings and convenience for patients and their families. It can be difficult leaving the hospital after a stay. Learning and understanding detailed care instructions and settling in to a new routine, can be an overwhelming experience for both patients and their caregivers. Plus, there’s the added inconvenience of visiting the pharmacy to pick up prescribed medications. Because it is so inconvenient, one-third of these prescriptions never reach the patient, and remain in a basket at the pharmacy, awaiting pick-up. Because the patient never takes their medication, recovery time can take longer, and in some cases, the patient goes without the needed medications and may be readmitted to the hospital. To make the process more convenient for patients and their families, Renown Pharmacy now offers a new Medications to Go program. Patients can now receive Medications to Go at Renown hospitals. Opting in when they arrive, and the day they leave, their medication will be hand-delivered to them in their room by a member of Renown’s pharmacy team, along with medication counseling by a Renown pharmacist. There is no additional cost for patients to use this service aside from their normal medication copays. “Medications to Go is another example of how we are using new approaches to deliver an excellent patient and customer experience, and helping people choose, access, experience and prefer Renown Health providers and hospitals,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, president and CEO of Renown. “We want to help our patients on their journey to health and wellness.” The Renown Pharmacy team has been recognized for several national best practice programs. A similar pilot program showed a 25 percent reduction in hospital readmission rates for patients with Medicaid insurance, emphasizing the need for the service for all patients at all Renown hospital locations. Since June 1, 2020, Medications to Go has been available to every patient at Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown South Meadows Medical Center and Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. “We’ve filled more than 1,600 prescriptions through the program to date,” said Adam Porath, Doctor of Pharmacy, and Renown’s interim director. “Patients are very happy – especially new moms and parents of our youngest patients at Renown Children’s Hospital.” About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®. For more information, visit renown.org.
Renown Health Update On Non-Urgent Elective Surgical Procedures And Medical Services At Renown Hospitals
Today, in accordance with recommendations from the U.S. Surgeon General and the American College of Surgeons, the Renown Health Joint Medical Executive Committee decided that effective Tuesday, March 17, surgical cases scheduled at both Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center, considered to be ELECTIVE-OPTIONAL will be postponed to a later date. Patients with scheduled ELECTIVE-OPTIONAL surgeries will be called by Renown Health representatives over the next week. Surgeon’s offices will also be reaching out to assist patients with rescheduling their surgeries for a future date. Elective surgeries that are REQUIRED and not optional will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis daily with the surgeon, patient and a medical leadership review committee at Renown. Your surgeon’s office will be in contact with you with more information about these REQUIRED surgeries This temporary measure will allow Renown’s physicians and staff to enact the emergency preparedness plans they have been developing for weeks to create additional capacity for inpatients and to continue to deliver high quality care during the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases in northern Nevada. The new guidelines do NOT apply to EMERGENCY surgeries performed in Renown hospitals. There are different types of surgery, this decision impacts Elective-Optional surgeries only. Elective – Optional surgery – Elective surgeries are not usually necessary for the individual to stay in good health. They are non-emergency and planned in advance. A wide range of surgeries can be elective. Most cosmetic surgeries are elective. Other surgeries such as organ donation, scoliosis surgery, tonsillectomies and other minor surgeries can also be considered elective. Required surgery – Surgery which needs to be done in order to retain quality of life. As opposed to urgent or emergency surgery, required surgeries do not need to be performed immediately. Examples of required surgery are kidney stone or tumor removal. Urgent or emergency surgery – When a patient’s condition is life threatening, surgery is considered emergent. Emergency surgeries must be performed immediately, even when the patient is unconscious and cannot give consent. Examples include trauma and appendicitis. Life-threatening conditions can occur during labor and delivery which may require emergency surgery. Other services making changes include: Pulmonary Services and Procedures Renown Health today will begin rescheduling patients scheduled for Pulmonary Function Testing, Outpatient bronchoscopy and patients at Thomas S. Dolan Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Patients who are affected by this change are being called by Renown to reschedule their appointments for Monday, April20, 2020 or later. Starbucks at Renown and Renown Dining Options As with many of the Starbucks around the U.S., the Starbucks at Renown Regional Medical Center will shift to a “to-go” model, with no seating available. The cafeterias at Renown Regional Medical Center and South Meadows Medical Center remain open, will temporarily eliminate self-service options and will add more ‘grab and go’ options. Other Renown Services Remain Open Renown Medical Group offices remain open. Planned imaging procedures such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), mammograms and non-invasive cardiology testing will continue at Renown hospitals and office locations and will NOT be postponed at this time. Patients confirmed for imaging appointments will be contacted prior to their scheduled visits to identify those who may be at higher risk of COVID-19 infection. Renown has expanded access to Teladoc virtual visits, available to all Hometown Health and Senior Care Plus subscribers. 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.