(STL.News) – City ? In today’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Mike Parson highlighted the innovation of Missouri hospitals in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Governor Parson was joined by Truman Medical Centers President and CEO Charlie Shields, Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten, and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams.
“I’m so proud of how Missourians have pulled together to help and find solutions during this time of crisis, including our health care system,” Governor Parson said. “Our hospitals across the state responded to COVID-19 without hesitation. From converting ICU beds to training health care personnel and establishing remote testing sites, they have adjusted operations and come up with creative ways to meet the demands of COVID-19.”
Truman Medical Centers (TMC) is one of many health systems across Missouri making innovative changes to meet the challenges of COVID-19.
Notably, TMC has discovered research showing that a robot used to disinfect rooms at its facilities using ultraviolet light can also be used to disinfect N95 masks – the most difficult type of personal protective equipment to source. Additionally, TMC’s lab has discovered a way to make its own testing kits. TMC has tested over 1,700 patients so far and has significantly revised its operations in order to test even more.
TMC is also working with organizations in the community to create much needed materials. For example, Cerner is making frames using 3-D printing for eye protection, and the Kansas City Art Institute has also reached out to TMC wanting to make similar face shields with its 3-D printer.
On top of these efforts, TMC has made several other changes to respond to COVID-19:
- Establishing drive-thru testing
- Identifying workers who can do jobs other than the ones they’ve been trained for
- Sourcing from new vendors not previously considered, such as Ace Hardware and Home Depot
- Creating the ability for virtual visits and tours of the TMC’s Mother/Baby Unit for expectant mothers
- Pool of 25 nurses now answering TMC’s COVID-19 hotline