The past week has presented many unexpected changes and required us to adapt at an accelerated rate. These adjustments are critical to ensure we have the ability to accommodate the number of patients we believe will need our care. Through our collective efforts, we have taken steps to maximize our resources and determine how to best care for the large number of COVID-19 patients as well as the emergent needs of patients not impacted by the virus.
The recent canceling of elective non-urgent procedures has significantly reduced the volume of care in certain areas of UW Medical Center – Northwest. With the lower volume of patients now needing procedural care on the Northwest campus, we will also be moving the non-emergent procedural patients seen in the UWMC – Northwest Emergency Department (i.e., those needing a surgical procedure or a Cardiac, Vascular, GI, or Interventional Radiology procedure) to the Montlake campus.
Additionally, current UWMC – Northwest campus inpatients who require a procedure will be supported by an on-call system for staff and physicians. These quick adjustments will enable us to centralize the staffing pool and focus teams on the needs of COVID-19 patients.
Because of the number of skilled nursing facilities surrounding the campus and the housing of the GeroPsychiatriac Unit, the UWMC – Northwest campus has the largest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in our system. The lack of elective care on the UWMC – Northwest campus and the movement of the remaining surgical and interventional procedures to the Montlake campus will allow the UWMC – Northwest campus to focus on the COVID-19 positive patients with the necessary supplies, equipment and staff support.
As shared via email and The Huddle, this experience has been truly humbling. The selfless efforts shown in every role within the UW Medicine community have placed us in a stronger position to handle this unprecedented need.
Thank you for your service and partnership during this challenging time.
Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Santiago Neme, MD, MPH
Tom Staiger, MD