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SBM Notes Decline in Patients Seeking Care for Conditions Other Than COVID-19

Ed visits

STONY BROOK, NY, May 1, 2020 — Hospitals across the country are reporting that, outside of patients with COVID-19, Emergency Department (ED) and outpatient visits overall have decreased since the pandemic hit our area.

Ed visits
Credit: Stony Brook University Hospital

“We need to increase public awareness that patients with heart attacks and strokes aren’t coming to the hospital and they need to,” said Dr. Peter Viccellio, Vice Chairman for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine. “To help people stay safe, our hospital is triaging patients with COVID-19 symptoms to a dedicated area of the ED and we built a tent for all of our patients suspected of having COVID-19 between the ages of 18 and 65, without comorbidities and with good oxygen levels to go to get tested. This limits potential COVID-19 exposure in our hospital.”

Dr. viccellio
Dr. Peter Viccellio, Vice Chairman for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine

Stony Brook Medicine physician offices also remain open to see patients with chronic ailments, new health concerns, pre- and post-natal care and newborn pediatrics, and minor injuries that are not severe enough to go to the Emergency Department.

“While Stony Brook Medicine (SBM) continues to care for those impacted by COVID-19, it’s important for the community to know that we are still available to meet all their healthcare needs, both in person and online via telemedicine,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine. “It’s vital for patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer to continue to seek care from their physicians throughout the Stony Brook Medicine healthcare system.”

Patients coming to any SBM office should be reassured that the appropriate precautions have been put into place to minimize exposure to coronavirus, including:

  • Measures to prevent crowding in all areas of the office, including the waiting area.
  • Adoption of all CDC guidelines about social distancing and protective equipment
  • All staff, doctors and patients are wearing masks in our offices.
  • All facilities are sanitized on a regular basis.
  • All patients screened the day before their visit and patients with any symptoms of coronavirus are being sent to offices designated to care for patients who may have COVID-19 positive patients.

Editor’s note: Please contact the Office of Media Relations at 631-444-7880 or email sbu_news_office@stonybrook.edu to schedule an expert to discuss this topic.

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Dr. Adam Singer, Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine

Dr. Peter Viccellio is the Vice Chairman for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine. His areas of research include emergency department and hospital overcrowding, patient safety, medical errors, head and cervical spine injuries, and residency education. He instituted a full capacity protocol at Stony Brook University Hospital which has been emulated nationwide, with data demonstrating impact on patient flow, patient safety, length of stay and patient satisfaction. For his efforts, Dr. Viccellio was awarded the 2005 National ACEP Colin C. Rorrie, Jr. Award for Excellence in Health Policy.

Dr. Adam Singer is the Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine. He is recognized as an international leader in the area of emergency medicine. He has over 400 publications and has received millions of dollars in research support. He recently established an institutional registry of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 with over 5,500 patients to date. His findings have recently been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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