Medical City Healthcare January 11, 2018

Medical City Healthcare Flu Fighters Proactive to Quell Epidemic

Increased staff, extended hours, Ask-a-Nurse hotline available to fight influenza outbreak

As flu season escalates, Medical City Healthcare emergency rooms are taking proactive measures to manage increasing numbers of sick patients.

“We are managing operations proactively to ensure we have additional staff and space for an increased volume of patients presenting to the emergency room,” says Michelle Underwood, RN, Medical City Healthcare Vice President of Emergency, Trauma and Surgical Services.

Thirteen of Medical City Healthcare’s 14 North Texas hospitals have high level emergency rooms with specially trained emergency physicians and nurses. Seven conveniently located off-campus emergency rooms are also fully equipped and often have shorter wait times. Patients exhibiting respiratory symptoms are asked to wear protective masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Staff members are also taking preventive precautions to protect themselves from falling ill.

“It’s highly recommended that all of our employees get influenza vaccinations every year,” says Nathan Ham, DO, Emergency Room Medical Director at Medical City Las Colinas. “If they decide not to get that, the first recommendation is that they have to wear a mask throughout their entire shift. The second thing is hand hygiene. It’s important and necessary that each of our employees before and after every patient encounter, they are washing their hands.”

Patients also have the option to wait at home to see a doctor with convenient web check-in, available at five Medical City Children’s Urgent Care locations and all 30 North Texas CareNow urgent care clinics which are part of Medical City Healthcare. Additionally, six CareNow clinics are extending business hours to better serve patients during cold and flu season:

  • Bedford-Euless – 5301 William D. Tate Avenue Grapevine, TX 76051
  • Horne – 2700 Horne Street, Suite 100 Fort Worth, TX 76107
  • Frisco West – 301 W. Main Street Frisco, TX 75034
  • North Garland – 5106 N. George Bush Highway Garland, TX 75040
  • Mansfield – 1501 Highway 287 N Mansfield, TX 76063
  • Midway – 12801 Midway Road Suite 503 Dallas, TX 75244

CareNow clinics also offer vaccinations to help prevent the flu. The CDC has not released estimates on vaccine effectiveness for the 2018 season, but a recent report shows last year’s vaccine was approximately 39% effective. The shot can also help reduce severity of symptoms, according to experts.

According to the CDC, symptoms of flu in an adult that might warrant a trip to the emergency room include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In addition to calling primary care providers, anyone with questions about symptoms can call Medical City Healthcare’s free Ask a Nurse hotline for expert, timely health-related information and physician referrals. Registered nurses are on call 24/7, including holidays, to offer valuable support and consultation. Staff cannot diagnose medical conditions or prescribe medication.

Map of Medical City Healthcare hospitals, off-campus ER, pediatric urgent care and CareNow clinics.

Test your flu IQ and watch a video to learn to properly wash hands.