March 16, 2020
Crisis-Care Guidelines Community Notification
Care During a Public Health Emergency
Dear patients and families,
We thank you for trusting Mission Community Hospital with your medical care. Our doctors, nurses and staff members care deeply about your health and are committed to keeping you updated about the medical care that is available to patients at this time.
Limited Resources During a Public Health Emergency
Los Angeles County has been facing a public health emergency since earlier this year that has reduced the amount of medical resources available to hospitals and patients.
As we hit record COVID-19 infections in the midst of these shortages, the Hospital recognizes the need to be careful with its resources to ensure its ability to serve the entire community, including those who have illnesses unrelated to this virus. These resources include life support machines (like a ventilator or breathing machine), Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and healthy medical staff (like doctors and nurses) to care for patients.
If the Hospital reaches a point where it faces a shortage that will affect its ability to care for all patients, a Triage Team including doctors, a community member, and a bioethics designee (who has expertise in the ethics surrounding health care) will review the cases of all patients who are critically ill. The guidelines developed by this team at Mission Community Hospital will be used to make necessary decisions about allocating limited medical resources based on the best medical information possible, employing the same decision criteria that is being used nationally and throughout California on all patient cases. Those involved in the decision-making process will be given no information about patient age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, citizenship, insurance, pre-existing disability, or any other information unrelated to the patient’s current medical condition.
Importantly, the status of all critically ill patients will be re-evaluated daily by the Hospital in order to ensure the best possible use of limited resources. In other words, if an ICU bed or ventilator is not available at first, such resources could become available to the patient at a later time.
What This Means for Patients and Their Family or Representative
- A patient’s* ability to make medical care choices during a public health emergency may be impacted if medical resources become limited. Even so, it is important for patients to talk to their family members or representative and hospital staff if they:
- a. Have any current medical conditions;
- b. Have an advance healthcare directive or would like to complete one;
- c. Have a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST);
- d. Do not want blood products or important life-saving treatments, such as mechanical ventilation, dialysis, or surgeries to prolong their life;
- e. Identify one representative for the patient should the patient be unable to communicate.
If a ventilator or ICU care is not offered or is stopped, the patient has the right to ask their doctor for further details concerning this decision and will receive everything they need to ensure they are comfortable and free of pain or discomfort.
This is an extremely hard time for our entire community. We are all working together to provide the best care possible. Please feel free to ask your medical team any questions you might have.
* “Patient” refers to the patient or their designated representative if the patient is unable to communicate.
If you have questions or concerns, please call (818) 904-3685.
Note (March 16, 2020)
We always use the best safety practices to protect the health of everyone who comes to our hospital and surrounding campus. Mission Community Hospital is prepared to treat new and emerging diseases, utilizing infection prevention protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We also continue to coordinate closely with local, state and federal health agencies.
Visitor Policy Updates – Visitation Not Permitted
Effective immediately and until further notice, Mission Community Hospital will no longer allow patient visitation at the Hospital due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and flu. All visitors will be turned away. For additional information, please call 818-787-2222.
All patients will be screened at designated entry points, including the hospital’s Emergency
All Other Non-Clinical Individuals at Mission Community Hospital
To protect our patients and staff from possible exposure to COVID-19, until further notice all non-urgent and non-clinical individuals are no longer permitted on the Hospital’s campus. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. For those non-clinical individuals allowed on campus, everyone will be screened at designated entry points. No exceptions will be made, however, if an individual has one or more of the following symptoms—fever, cough or shortness of breath—or have traveled in a COVID-19 area or encounter a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
We recommend using FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or the phone in your room to connect with and update your loved ones who cannot visit during your stay.
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Chief Executive Officer