Situation Update - Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
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Overton Brooks VA Medical Center

 

Situation Update

Overton Brooks VA Medical Center

Overton Brooks VA Medical Center

Friday, May 15, 2020

Dear Veterans,

We understand you have non-COVID concerns that need to be addressed. Now that the initial crisis has lessened, it is time for us to move forward, and we want you to be aware of a few things.

Even before COVID-19, the Shreveport VA was committed to High Reliability Organization (HRO) principles. HRO principles teach us to empower and value expertise – and we are all empowered to determine what is needed for our Veterans. The employees at the Shreveport VA have proven this on many occasions by anticipating risks and solving problems through innovations and engagement that supports our mission and keeps both employees and Veterans safe.

As we move forward with expanding health care services, our focus is Zero Harm. This means care you receive at the Shreveport VA is completed in a safe environment with zero cases of preventable harm. As more routine health care services are provided here, Veteran safety and employee safety remain our highest priority.

Our facility will expand operations in an environment that is safe for you and our staff. Our initial goal is to care for those patients who have the greatest clinical need. To accomplish this goal, we will provide health services while considering guidance from various agencies including state and local government.

The below points outline our current plans.

  • Universal masking is required. Please bring your own mask to the facility.  If you do not have a mask one will be issued to you. We are working to provide each Veteran with a washable, reusable cloth mask that will be required at your next visit. 
  • The Shreveport VA is currently performing surgical, medical, and dental procedures that are urgent or emergent. These procedures require strict testing processes of patients to identify anyone positive for COVID-19. 
  • Patients undergoing medical procedures will be tested for COVID-19 prior to surgery.  Patients who are admitted to residential units (i.e. inpatient Mental Health programs) will also be tested prior to admission. 
  • Additional urgent appointments are starting for Specialty Care and Surgical Specialties. In order to maintain a safe number of people in the hospital, the number of appointments is closely monitored. 
  • The Primary Care teams at your Veterans Clinics are seeing additional urgent appointments but continue to offer visits for routine care via virtual modalities, such as telephone and video visits. Shreveport Primary Care plans to resume additional urgent appointments similarly as we continue to reopen safely; virtual care is always a great option. As always, if you need to discuss an issue with your Primary Care team, please call them or send a Secure Message. 
  • We will also focus on rescheduling Veteran appointments that were previously scheduled before the pandemic. The Shreveport VA follows guidance from the Veterans Health Administration, and all VA hospitals nationwide will adopt operational policies which are currently under national review.  Our physicians and scheduling staff will work to bring back our Veterans and reschedule those who had appointments cancelled.  The pandemic requires strict guidance to safety protocols, for the health and safety of our patients and staff. Veterans who are determined to be most critical will naturally have their appointments scheduled first.  
  • Community Care is also available, when necessary; Please remember our community partners experienced similar rescheduling requirements as the pandemic expanded throughout the ArkLATex area and the nation. 
  • Our supplies are adequate to provide safe care. We continually evaluate PPE levels and request necessary supplies to maintain adequate on-hand materials. As we expand our services, we will carefully monitor supplies.  
  • Currently all waiting rooms have been modified to allow for social distancing where possible. This will limit the number of allowed Veterans so that appropriate distance between chairs is followed. We will not allow Veterans into the building until 30 minutes before your appointment.  
  • Exam rooms and waiting areas are sterilized and cleaned regularly. 
  • The procedures mentioned above affect all hospital services, including Primary Care, Mental Health Care, and Specialty Care. 
  • Our volunteers will return in phases. A limited number of volunteers will be allowed, as each volunteer receives face-to-face instruction regarding distancing in the facility, wearing masks, and adjusting to the different internal hospital environment.

Again, safety is the priority at your Shreveport VA. Please call us if you have any questions or medical concerns at 318-990-5000 or 800-644-8370.

Thank you for your patience and your support during this crisis.

 GET TESTED
 

Drive-Thru testing is available from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, for eligible Veterans. Appointments are preferred. Veterans who wish to be tested may use myhealth.va.gov to communicate via secure messaging. Veterans may also call 318-990-5000 or 800-644-8370 to speak with their primary care team, who will submit the order for testing. 

 

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