The large number of patients visiting the Hospital's Emergency Department (ED) and downtown Reading Urgent Care Center has prompted officials to segregate patients entering the ED with flu-like symptoms, and expand the number of ED and inpatient beds.
Flu Management Center
The Hospital opened a Flu Management Center on its main campus to accommodate the more than 150 patients entering the ED daily complaining of flu-like symptoms. Individuals without other health complications are masked and escorted to the Flu Management Center for further evaluation and treatment.
The Flu Management Center opened late last week in anticipation of increased patient volume and will remain open until further notice.
Patients are not receiving the H1N1 vaccine.
Hospital Expands Number of Beds
On Thursday, October 22, the ED's 21-bed Observation Unit was relocated to the third floor of R-Building, east wing. The vacated area in the ED is being used to accommodate the large number of patients entering the ED.
On Tuesday, October 20, nearly 60 patients were relocated from the Hospital's Post-Acute Continuum – E-Building, floors 2 & 3 – to The Reading Hospital for Post-Acute Rehabilitation. The north wing of E2 has been prepared to reopen immediately should additional beds be needed. The current occupancy rate of medical/surgical beds Hospital-wide exceeds 95%.
Effective immediately, visitors to nursing units must be at least 14 years old. This restriction does not affect Beginnings Maternity Center.
Individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms should not visit Hospital patients, and all visitors are asked to practice proper hand-hygiene and cough etiquette.
Urgent Care Center
The Reading Hospital's Urgent Care Center (UCC) located at 838 Penn Street, Reading, has seen its daily average of patients more than double within the last few days. The UCC is now seeing approximately 150 patients daily with flu-like symptoms. Usually open weekdays from 5 - 10 p.m., the UCC will expand its hours beginning Friday, October 23, from 3 - 10 p.m.
To date, The Reading Hospital received 500 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. All 500 doses are the live, attenuated, nasal spray vaccine. The vaccine is being administered to patients and healthcare workers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
The Reading Hospital Medical Group received 4,400 doses of the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. The vaccine is being administered at its Family Medicine and QuickCare locations.
The Hospital does not know when additional vaccine will be distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH). Initial plans are to conduct a public campaign, but that will be determined by PA DOH deliveries.