Keep Your Heart Open: LA Surge Hospital, Pt. 2
By Gil Vidals, , HIPAA Blog

Note: It’s National Hospital Week, celebrating hospitals, health systems, and health care workers. This year’s theme: “A Week of Thanks.” 

With that in mind, and especially during these trying times, we wanted to take a few weeks away from our series on HIPAA Plugins for WordPress to mention the important contributions of our own Terri Vidals and the Los Angeles Surge Hospital – a new, “Covid-19 Only” hospital fighting to stem the tide of the novel coronavirus. You can read part-1 here. 

Throughout our continuing pandemic storm, we’ve been awash in a steady stream of numbers: “x numbers of new cases, y numbers of deaths.” As we graph the trends and track the outbreaks (important analyses, to be sure) it’s easy to forget there’s a face – and a unique story – behind each number. 

This holds true for caregivers as well as their patients – which is why it’s so encouraging to hear what Terri Vidals shares from the LA Surge Hospital, where she’s been working hard with a courageous pharmacy team and hospital staff to bring healing to those suffering from Covid-19.  

In the midst of the struggle, there is much hope. As Terri says, “We’ve had many success stories with people being discharged… staff have come from all over, within and outside of California, and we all seem to be working well together. Businesses and people from the community have donated meals and other items to us which has given us things to look forward to most days, and we are very appreciative.”

Of course the nature of this challenge, as Terri notes, is that every patient is – or was – extremely sick (or they wouldn’t be there), and this has touched the hearts of all involved: 

“In a “regular” hospital, loss and celebration affect those who took care of the patient,” says Terri. “There are emotions on a regular basis when you have a part in a patient’s care and see them overcome the odds or you get involved in their personal story of tragedy or success. I think what makes this different, is that emotional involvement is more pervasive throughout the staff as a whole. There is a feeling of we are in this together… I want to celebrate or mourn with you.”

One very special way the staff puts this into practice is when a patient has responded well to treatment and is ready for discharge from the hospital. An overhead announcement marks the occasion and calls all available staff to meet together at the exit doors to see the patient off. 

When the ritual first began, the sense of celebration was palpable for all. “As you can imagine, it was a very emotional and meaningful experience for the patient, their family, and staff present,” Terri says. “One of the pharmacy technicians happened to be on the nursing unit when the patient was leaving the floor and she said the send-off from the nursing unit was something to behold as the cheers erupted for the surviving patient.” 

Celebrating Every Life  

At HIPAA Vault, we resonate with those stories. Though we may not always see our customers face to face, we’re guided by a similar, underlying conviction as we do business, striving always to remember that we serve people as we work to prevent breaches of their data. 

We know that your “data” represents one or more descriptor(s) of your well-being – whether a private medical record or a personal/financial identifier like a bank account or social security number. And so we intentionally strive to protect it, because behind the data is a real person of dignity and value – you. 

Another way we seek to “humanize” our business is to provide you with dedicated, live customer service. We do this as well because we know how frustrating it is not to speak to a real person or to be put on hold indefinitely. It feels impersonal, because it is

Lastly, we know how vital your system uptime is to allow you to access the vital information you need, so you can do what you do best – facilitate patient care. That’s why our commitment to you is to respond within 15 minutes to all alerts – 24/7/365. 

Eradicating a “virtual virus” may not be the same as the real thing, but the ultimate reasons for doing so are the same: we want to preserve your well-being and ability to flourish – and that’s something we can always celebrate.  

Terri Vidals is a hospital pharmacist with over 30 years experience. She founded Rxpert Solutions, a consulting company offering practical and lasting solutions on behalf of medication safety. With her husband Gil Vidals, Terri also helped to found HIPAA Vault, a leading provider of HIPAA compliant solutions enabling healthcare providers, business organizations, and government agencies to secure their protected health information from data breaches, threats, and security vulnerabilities.