The latest news from Dennis Murphy, President of IU Health
To You, Our Valued Parents, Patients and Caregivers:
As we continue to make our way through the COVID-19 crisis, we are moved by the generous compassion of the individuals and communities that we serve around the state. Our 34,000 IU Health team members are grateful for the outpouring of encouragement and appreciation from their neighbors, friends and family. Without this vital support network, our team members would not be able to do what they have been doing day-in and day-out. As a result, we are solidly prepared for what comes our way each week and are able to report that IU Health and Riley Children’s Health continue to transform our operations at record pace so that we can deliver the very best care to all our patients.
An example of this positive transformation is in the way that we are using telehealth. Now more than ever, our patients need access to the skilled professionals of Riley Children’s Health, and we now offer access to our physicians via a variety of virtual platforms.
In addition to virtual health, Riley Children’s Health has adjusted operations in many key areas to help keep your children safe, such as in our Emergency Departments and dialysis unit. We are also offering much-needed support to our Riley team members, including a school tutoring program for their kids who are in grades K-12. Knowing that their own children are getting the help they need gives our frontline workers the peace of mind so they can then concentrate on caring for your children.
Answers to your top questions, based on your feedback
Q: My child doesn’t have COVID-19. How do I get her care for other things during the pandemic?
A: Riley Children’s Health is committed to providing all our patients the highest quality of care. Our skilled team members are adjusting procedures to best meet the needs of everyone in our communities. Here is what you can count on:
Primary Care. We are now seeing most primary care patients virtually or by telephone when appropriate. Our team will work with you to determine the best way to safely care for you. Please call 1.888.IUHEALTH to schedule an appointment.
Urgent Care. Most IU Health urgent care centers are open and ready to see patients.
Emergency Medicine. Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Emergency Department is open for non-COVID-19 needs and seeing patients in need of emergency care. Additionally, all IU Health Emergency Departments are available. Safety measures are in place to limit your children’s potential exposure.
Specialty Care. In most cases, we’re transitioning specialty care appointments to virtual visits or by telephone, when appropriate – so we can continue to serve our patients. Urgent and critical concerns are reviewed on a case-by-case basis for in-person care.
Our team will work with you to determine the best way to safely care for you. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please use the Riley Children’s Health provider directory to find a doctor and call today.
Q: Can I get tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: Public testing is not available at this time because testing resources are limited, but at IU Health, we are working hard to increase the amount of tests available. On March 18, IU Health began in-house testing for COVID-19, with a focus on healthcare workers and critically ill patients. Over the past three weeks, IU Health has been able to increase testing capacity from 500 to 3,500 tests per day. The average turn-around time for results is 24 hours.
The IU Health Pathology Laboratory has conducted 9,411 COVID-19 tests to date, a 19% increase since last week. Of those tests, 19% were completed for non-IU Health facilities, including neighboring hospitals and nursing homes caring for the state’s most vulnerable populations.
IU Health is using its increased testing capacity to begin testing patients who have symptoms but aren’t necessarily sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. IU Health has set up specimen collection sites to safely facilitate COVID-19 testing for patients who have been referred there after getting screened using the free IU Health Virtual Visit app or an IU Health or Riley physician.
Q: How many coronavirus (COVID-19) patients are at IU Health hospitals and do you have enough equipment to take care of them?
A: IU Health has enough equipment right now and we continue to monitor this to make sure that our care teams are kept safe and that we can provide the highest quality care to our patients. We are committed to be a trusted source of information for the public during the COVID-19 crisis.
As part of that commitment, we are sharing with the community how COVID-19 is impacting our hospitals and team members. IU Health is releasing key data related to the COVID-19 pandemic on a weekly basis. You can find the most current IU Health COVID-19 data on our online resource center. As always, patient privacy remains at the forefront of all decisions regarding data disclosure.
The latest studies indicate that children are impacted less than adult patients. As of April 13, we have seen 16 patients at Riley Hospital for Children who have tested positive for COVID-19. While anyone who tests positive is cause for concern, the low number of cases in children should give you added peace of mind of knowing that the exposure by coming to the hospital is low. Know that we are always here to care for your children, safely and expertly, no matter their needs.
The most up-to-date, comprehensive data for Indiana is available through the Indiana State Department of Health.
As always, our number one priority is to make sure your children are safely cared for and you are well-informed. We have created a quick survey for you to tell us which topics you’d find most relevant at this time.
I have been asked by many people what they can do to help in this time of need. My answer is always the same. Continue washing your hands. Continue practicing safe social distancing. And lastly, it’s more important than ever that we support each other in maintaining our best possible mental and spiritual health – IU Health has resources available to support our parents and caregivers. Caring for each other will get us through this time. And please know that we are always here to help. Peace to you and your families.
President and CEO