Compassionate Care

The Resiliency of Health Care: How Shriners Hospitals for Children is Using Innovation to Adapt Care During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed our way of life. As we are all learning to navigate through these challenging and uncertain times, we are finding new ways to adapt to an environment that is constantly changing

Something that has not – and will not – change, however, is the commitment of Shriners Hospitals for Children® to those who depend on us, the patients and families we serve. Our health care system remains resilient as we continue to innovate and adjust to meet our patients’ needs – safely and efficiently, ready to be partners in care for those in need.

Fast Track Video Visits Provide Compassionate, Topnotch Care – Virtually

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Shriners Hospitals for Children has adapted our services to help eliminate barriers to care, making it more accessible to our patients and families.

Understanding the importance of both continuity of care and patient safety, our health care system has introduced a new telehealth program, known as Fast Track Video Visits (FTVV), to connect patients with their care providers via video technology. This innovative approach helps families comply with safer-at-home orders and ease the stress related to maintaining appointments.

The FTVV telehealth program is an extension of the world-class care currently provided at all of our Shriners Hospitals locations, with a focus on safety, convenience and patient satisfaction. The platform improves the safety of the community by decreasing potential risk of exposure while providing a convenient alternative for families traveling long distances to visit their doctor.

FTVV will not replace all in-person visits. However, by utilizing telehealth, our physicians are able to reduce the number of patients who need to come to the hospital while still providing the same level of excellent specialized care that our patients and families have come to expect.

To learn more, watch a video of Alec, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago patient and national spokesperson, talk about Fast Track Video Visits with his doctor below. To find out if your child is eligible for these services, please contact your local Shriners Hospitals for Children location.

Boston Shriners Hospital Offers Aid in Times of Crisis

In order for hospitals in Boston to care for more COVID-19 patients, available facilities are being utilized for overflow of patients with various conditions. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston has worked with Massachusetts General Hospital on a plan to transfer adult burn inpatients to our facility for treatment, following our established internal approval process.

The Boston Shriners Hospital is the only pediatric location in New England verified by the American Burn Association. Temporarily expanding their service to care for adult burn patients was no easy feat – it required the diligence of leadership teams from both hospitals and clinical transformation of space along with staff preparation. The work required to get clinical space available for adult patients is now complete, and the Boston Shriners Hospital is operationally ready to accept them.

This is not the first time our Boston hospital offered its care and facilities in response to a crisis. In 2003, they cared for adults who received burn injuries at the Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island.

Canada Shriners Hospital Responds to Community Needs

The increasing need of hospital care for COVID-19 patients in Quebec, Canada, has mobilized Shriners Hospitals for Children — Canada’s leaders, medical professionals and staff.

Since McGill University Health Centre’s adult network is now designated as a hospital center for COVID-19 patients, the Montréal Children’s Hospital has adapted their capacity and will accept certain adult COVID-19 patients, while the Canada Shriners Hospital will accept and care for an overflow of COVID-19 negative pediatric patients. Our Canada Shriners Hospital team members are prepared and committed to this plan to assist their local hospitals in combating COVID-19.

Walk-In Fracture Clinics Help with COVID-19 Health Care System Overflow

In light of the continuing effects of COVID-19 and the burden on emergency rooms and urgent care systems, some Shriners Hospitals for Children locations that offer walk-in fracture and sports injury clinics are not only remaining open during this time, but are also extending their hours and/or days of operation.

The pediatric orthopaedic specialists at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland will continue to provide care to children at their walk-in fracture and sports injury clinic, which is now open seven days a week. At Shriners Hospitals for Children, we understand that there is never a good time for kids to experience an injury or a break, but we hope that families can take solace in knowing that our locations offering fracture clinics are available as a reliable resource for families throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

“We want to do our part to help our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robert Bernstein, M.D., chief of staff at the Portland Shriners Hospital. “We are uniquely positioned to provide urgent care for children with musculoskeletal injuries in a clean environment, and our hope is to offload the burden of non-COVID-19 pediatric patients seen in emergency departments.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville’s injury care clinic is also temporarily open seven days a week, by appointment. In addition, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane has cared for a record number of children by extending their fracture clinic’s hours of operation.

In an effort to address the safety of patients and their families and reduce the risk of potential exposure, all patients and visitors will be screened prior to their visit.

For more information, please contact your local Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Innovation Continues Throughout Our System

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu has incorporated virtual roundings into their care in response to the pandemic. Nurses utilize iPads to conduct scheduled in-room visits, allowing providers to participate via remote connection, thereby minimizing direct contact and recognizing distancing recommendations. These virtual roundings help medical providers stay healthy so they can continue to provide excellent care during this time.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Mexico City has been going above and beyond to keep their location safe for patients and families. The Mexico City Shriners Hospital’s orthotics and prosthetics department has expanded their sanitation process, including cleaning work stations and equipment after every encounter, and have still been able to keep all appointments and deliver the devices on time.

The team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City has converted their front entrance into a drive-through testing site for patients scheduled for surgery the following week. This new service, only available for patients scheduled for surgery, involves proper documentation, testing, prepping and sending the sample to an external lab, and checking results.

We Are Here For You

At Shriners Hospitals for Children, our patients are our priority. The nature of this pandemic requires that adaptations and plans evolve quickly, and the entire staff of Shriners Hospitals has made these changes a priority, working through every detail to get where we are today.

Our world may look a little different for a while, but our mission to provide life-changing specialty care to kids remains the same. We will get through these unprecedented times together; and together, we will continue to improve the lives of children, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.