Written by The Business Journal Staff
Following a surge of patients this flu season, Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia has received approval from the California Department of Public Health to begin using a second staging tent outside of its emergency department.
“We are pulling out all of the stops and doing everything under the sun to take care of patients during this very challenging flu season,” said Gary Herbst, CEO of Kaweah Delta Health Care District. “We’ve actually never had two tents set up at the same time.”
Kaweah Delta officials asked for permission to set up the second tent last week. Kaweah Delta received permission last Wednesday to go ahead with its use. The tent is located east of the emergency department and serves as a staging area for patients who come to the hospital by ambulance but do not have life-threatening conditions. It will immediately allow doctors and nurses at Kaweah Delta to take over care of the patient from EMTs.
“While this will allow us to immediately take over the patient’s care, more importantly, it allows ambulances to get back out into the community and help people,” Herbst said. “These ambulances are dedicated to serving their communities. Not only are we trying to help make sure people get the highest levels of care at Kaweah Delta, we are helping first responders get back out there to care for people.”
Due to flu season and the recent closure of Tulare Regional Medical Center’s emergency department and health clinics in Tulare, Kaweah Delta Medical Center put up a tent outside of its emergency department last November to expand the size of its waiting area to accommodate patient demands. On average Kaweah Delta has seen 500 positive flu cases each week.