Tidelands Health launches respiratory clinics to decrease emergency room volume

Grand Strand

MURRELL INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — On Monday, Tidelands Health launched its temporary respiratory clinics to treat anyone with COVID-like symptoms.

At the end of June there were no COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized at Tidelands Health. Today, the hospital is reporting 50 patients, which is more than last summer.

“Right now, we’re seeing a lot of volume hitting our emergency departments inside of our hospitals, so we need to get that volume back into a community setting if somebody’s not critical enough to be in an ER,” Gayle Resetar, Chief Operating Officer at Tidelands, said.

The hospital re-opened its respiratory clinics on Monday as a way to reduce high ER volume.

“They worked really effectively in the first two surges we had, we just hadn’t ramped them back up for this third surge that we’re in. We’re doing that now,” she said.

According to Resetar, the goal is to diagnose as many patients as early as possible and provide an alternative location for those who aren’t critically ill.

“We only have a few weapons that we can use to combat COVID,” Resetar said. “One of them, getting people diagnosed early is an important strategy so that they can get a treatment and to avoid hospitalizations. We want to avoid hospitalizations.”

Right now, two clinics are open in Murrells Inlet and Georgetown, however Resetar said they’re looking to open another at one of their Northern campuses.

“The key thing is providing an alternative location to the emergency room, so we want people to if they’re not critically ill, to elect to go to these locations instead,” she said.

Because these clinics can early diagnose and treat people who aren’t in need of ER treatment, she hopes this can lower the high volume they’re currently experiencing.

“We want people to have an early diagnosis, the sooner you have a diagnosis of COVID, the better because there are treatment options that we can employ with monoclonal antibodies, so that you may not land in the hospital,” Resetar said.

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