Prisma Health North Greenville Hospital transitions back to long-term acute-care unit
COVID-19 unit closes as number of COVID-19 cases declines; facility moves closer to significant expansion of primary care access in northern Greenville County
GREENVILLE, SC—Because of the decrease in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Upstate, Prisma Health will no longer operate a dedicated COVID-19 unit at its North Greenville Hospital. With this change, Prisma Health can now re-open its long-term acute-care unit there as well as move forward on plans to expand a primary care clinic in the space occupied by the hospital’s former Emergency Department (ED).
“I’m very grateful for the extraordinary care provided by the team members to patients at North Greenville Hospital during this long pandemic year. They have provided exceptional care under exceptionally difficult circumstances,” said Wendell James, MD, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health in the Upstate. “While the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients needing intensive care has decreased and stabilized, we know that COVID-19 is still with us. Being able to close this one COVID-19 unit is just a small victory of many victories yet to come.”
While Prisma Health operates an adult primary care walk-in clinic and a pediatrics clinic on that campus currently, an expanded adult walk-in clinic is expected to open this summer in the ED space, which is now under renovation.
“Our long-term hope is to provide much-broader access to primary care and outpatient specialty care services to the North Greenville community for adults as well as children,” said James. The existing adult clinic is expected to triple its size over the next year and also will expand to offer evening and weekend hours. When fully expanded, the North Greenville clinic will, under the same roof, offer pediatric care as well as on-site specialists such as cardiologists and neurologists. Behavioral health services, which are already available in Travelers Rest, will also be on site.
The adult primary care clinic is currently located beside the North Greenville Hospital along with a pediatric clinic. The pediatric office will continue at its current location for the time being but will eventually be incorporated into the new, main primary care clinic.
North Greenville Hospital initially transitioned from a long-term acute-care unit to a dedicated facility for COVID-19 patients in March 2020. Before being transitioned back to providing long-term acute care, the hospital underwent additional cleaning and disinfection using CDC-approved protocols and discontinued special COVID-19 accommodations such as negative-pressure rooms. The facility will retain one area in COVID-ready status as a temporary precaution against a potential surge over the next few weeks.
During the last several weeks, Prisma Health’s number of COVID-19 inpatients has hovered around 100 per day, down significantly since January’s peak of 550 inpatients per day.
“While this is a significant decrease in the number of inpatients, we must continue to stress to our community about the importance of remaining vigilant, even as vaccinations continue to expand and vaccine availability continues to improve,” said James.
Over the course of the pandemic, Prisma Health has cared for nearly 9,300 inpatients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and provided more than 356,000 COVID tests. In addition, the organization has given more than 347,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at all its vaccine sites system-wide.
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 acute and specialty hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 outpatient sites with nearly 2,000 physicians, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.
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