As the coronavirus continues to infect thousands in Michigan, Beaumont Health CEO John Fox urges the state of Michigan to require health systems statewide to share more complete data with each other and be more transparent with the public. As of 10:30 a.m., April 5, Beaumont is caring for 1,074 confirmed COVID-19 patients systemwide.
“Some other health systems in our region are also seeing large numbers of COVID-19 patients. However, without an accurate daily census report that indicates how many COVID-19 confirmed patients are in each hospital and how many in each hospital are still awaiting test results, it is impossible to know how different parts of Michigan are being affected by the virus. About half of the patients in Beaumont hospitals that are tested for COVID-19 are confirmed as positive. Even with the limited information we have, we know southeast Michigan is the state’s ground zero for the pandemic,” Fox said.
In the spirit of transparency, Beaumont began sharing a daily update of its COVID-19 patients on March 19, just days after the health system’s first confirmed case on March 13. Beginning today, April 5, Beaumont will share additional data on its website daily and post a graph to show the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the Beaumont system.
“Beaumont believes the state needs to collect accurate, real-time data from all hospitals across Michigan and share it in an open and transparent way, just as we have been doing at Beaumont Health,” Fox said. “As the state’s largest health system, we have been advocating for this both publicly and behind the scenes. This is an unprecedented situation. Faster action is needed to ensure we can care for the influx of COVID-19 patients over the next few weeks and months, in addition to those we serve who need emergency or trauma care, have heart attacks, give birth or need other truly emergent medical services.”
The numbers and data posted on beaumont.org/coronavirus are a daily snapshot in time. The health system is also relying upon several predictive models which currently forecast a surge of patients will hit Beaumont and other health systems later this month or in early May.
“We also remain concerned that the absence of adequate data and a state-enabled patient load-balancing system could result in additional and avoidable risks for patients,” Fox said.
Throughout the pandemic, Beaumont has taken numerous steps to combat COVID-19, protect its staff and serve its patients, such as:
- Creating an online risk assessment tool to help patients determine what kinds of medical care to consider if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Discharging as many patients as possible to the next appropriate level of care and cohorting the remaining non-COVID-19 patients.
- Identifying the resources, equipment and staffing needed to manage the anticipated volume.
- Screening all staff prior to entering a Beaumont facility.
- Restricting visitors at all Beaumont hospital campuses.
- Providing appropriate personal protective equipment for staff.
- Providing masks to all hospital employees who request one.
- Providing curbside screening at all Beaumont hospitals except Beaumont Hospital, Wayne.
- Closing the Emergency Center at Beaumont Hospital, Wayne and dedicating the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients.
- Creating a coronavirus hotline to help answer patient’s questions: 800-592-4784.
- Launching a #HealthCareHeroes campaign, including a daily “Home Beams for Health Care Teams” event to honor and recognize the medical team. A new TV commercial honoring the Beaumont team begins airing this weekend.
“I have been visiting all of the Beaumont campuses and have watched our team work so well together. Their response to this pandemic has been stunning and inspiring. We are all working long hours, seven days a week, and I am so proud of our team,” Fox said. “As I visit each of our hospital sites, it is also wonderful to see thank you signs and blue ribbons supporting our heroes. We truly have an extraordinary team. That said, we all must acknowledge all the frontline health care workers treating COVID-19 patients throughout Michigan and beyond. They truly are health care heroes.”