COVID-19 has changed the way we all live our lives. For the Langley Memorial Hospital team, it’s also transformed how care is provided, not only for patients with the virus but for those awaiting other critical services as well.

From clearing waitlists created by pandemic preparations to adapting to new safety protocols, it’s essential that our health care workers have the tools they need to do their jobs. With local donors, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation has provided that support, purchasing vital equipment.

“The pandemic has demonstrated more than ever how important donor support is to ensure health care workers at Langley Memorial Hospital have the critical resources they need to care for all patients,” says the Foundation’s executive director, Heather Scott.

Over recent months, multiple equipment purchases have helped hospital teams, patients and families adapt to this ‘new normal’ of health care delivery:

In the Pain Clinic, a new, dedicated – and donor-funded – portable ultrasound will help the team work faster through the waitlist created during the temporary COVID closure and subsequent protocol changes. Patients dealing with chronic pain and those most in need of pain management are once again getting the support they need, and in a more timely way.

“We’ve needed a dedicated ultrasound machine for quite some time; sharing the machines with other departments often meant patients would have to wait, sometimes up to 45 minutes,” says Langley Memorial Hospital anesthesiologist, Dr. Stephen Wu. “We can’t emphasize how much the portable ultrasound was needed but I know we can say how much it is appreciated.”

Langley Memorial’s Endoscopy Clinic provides more than 4,500 colonoscopies each year, plus upper and lower gastrointestinal scopes – vital diagnostic scans for surgical treatment and diseases such as colon, gastro and stomach cancers. With added COVID-19 protocols, a new donor-funded portable video processor provides shorter wait times between patients, allowing the hospital to work through the waitlist faster.

“We only have to wait for 15 minutes, not an hour, which really improves the timing and the flow of patients,” says Dr. Scott Cowie, who heads the endoscopy clinic team at Langley Memorial. “This gives us a greater capacity to help patient care and comfort, and it will help us catch up on this waitlist.”

The Emergency Room is the first line of defence for emergency situations – including COVID-19-positive patients. Modern ventilators and equipment to help safely intubate patients in respiratory distress are still needed.

Long Term Care teams are learning new ways to better connect fragile elders in residence with loved ones, while keeping them safe under strict patient visit restrictions. New technology – such as video chats made possible through donor-funded iPads – allows the care team to keep patients engaged with family and friends.

Donate today to your community hospital.

Donor support is critical to ensuring all patients, no matter their ailment, get treated quickly in a safe environment for both the patient and their care team.

“We need the equipment to do our job properly, and we view it as a privilege that our community recognizes what we’re doing,” says Dr. Cowie, emphasizing how grateful his team is to Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation donors. “I think people in Langley should be proud of their community.”

To learn more about the Foundation's COVID-19 Relief Fund, and how you can help, visit lmhfoundation.com/Covid.

 (Originally published on Langley Advance Times)