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UPDATED: March 16, 2020

At River’s Edge Hospital, the care and health of our employees, patients and their families is our highest priority at all times.

We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps that we are taking.

We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  All Minnesotans are encouraged to make healthy choices such as washing hands frequently with soap and water, using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, practicing social distancing, and staying home when sick.

While COVID-19 is on the top of everyone’s mind, it is important to remember that it is still Influenza season and is still widespread in our area.  Symptoms of COVID-19 and Influenza are similar and we ask that if you are concerned about your symptoms that you call 507-931-2200 before coming to the hospital so staff can prepare for your visit. 

Q.  Can I visit my friend/family member at River’s Edge Hospital?

A.  For the safety of our patients and employees, we are CLOSING visitor hours for inpatients at River’s Edge Hospital.  All patients –  inpatients, Emergency Department, Urgent Care, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Laboratory, Imaging, Outpatient Surgery,  Infusion Therapy, and Cardiac Rehab patients will be allowed ONE support person to be in the hospital room during this time.

If the support person has any respiratory symptoms, have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or have had possible exposure to COVID-19, we ask that they refrain from visiting in the hospital.  We would encourage family and friends to continue communicating with patients by video chat, phone, text and email.

  • We have not issued “no visitors” policies in the past.  As a hospital, River’s Edge considers community health a priority in outbreak situations and will follow the guidance from our local healthcare partners.

Q.  What is River’s Edge Hospital doing to prepare for any incidence of Coronavirus/COVID-19?

A.  River’s Edge Hospital has a long-standing history of managing health care concerns.  At the present time we are actively following our established protocols for infection control, continually training on these protocols and staying nimble to adjust as needed should new prevention and containment measures be identified.

COVID-19 Actions:

River’s Edge Hospital will not be doing routine screening or patient requested COVID-19 (the illness caused by coronavirus) test in its Urgent Care or Emergency Department.  Testing will be done only on those individuals who have a fever or cough AND have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled within 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent.

We would ask that you call ahead so we can be prepared for you when you arrive.  Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.


DATED March 13, 2020, 2:17 p.m. Updated FAQ will appear at the top of the FAQ section.

At River’s Edge Hospital, the care and health of our employees, patients and their families is our highest priority at all times.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness in people caused by a new virus. It can spread from person to person. Since this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, but are learning more about COVID-19 each day. The Minnesota Department of Health and River’s Edge Hospital is taking this seriously and planning for cases.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 should stay home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

You can call River’s Edge at 931-2200 if you need to seek medical care (see FAQ below).

The best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are to do the same things you do to protect yourself from colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps that we are taking.

Q: Can I come to the hospital and request COVID-19 testing?

A: No, we are not providing prophylactic testing. If you have fever, cough AND have traveled to a prevalent area or have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19, or someone who has traveled to prevalent areas then you would want to follow up with primary care provider. If you are experiencing shortness of breath and/or require Emergency care you can come in and be evaluated and ONLY if you show positive screen w/ symptoms would we test.  River’s Edge Hospital is not running the test – we are only collecting the samples. All samples collected for COVID-19 will be sent out to be completed.

Q. What is River’s Edge Hospital doing to prepare for any incidence of Coronavirus/COVID-19?

A. River’s Edge Hospital has a long-standing history of managing health care concerns. At the present time we are actively following our established protocols for infection control, continually training on these protocols and staying nimble to adjust as needed should new prevention and containment measures be identified.

COVID-19 Actions:

  • We have a dedicated team of interdisciplinary experts including some with many years of experience in emergency management and response, infection control and prevention, as well as clinicians and other health care professionals.
  • We continue to monitor and follow the guidelines specific to COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and our local and state health agencies.
  • We have heightened our cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • We continue to actively monitor and report respiratory illnesses across our organization.
  • We have instituted monitoring of employees who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent.
  • We will be posting signs asking individuals who are sick, who have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or who may have been in contact with someone that has been infected by or exposed to COVID-19, to refrain from visiting patients in the hospital.
  • We are asking all visitors to wash their hands.
  • We are sharing updated information on COVID-19 with our patients, families, and employees.
  • We have an emergency operation plan that will be put into place should we need to implement it.

Q. Would you ever implement a “no visitors” policy?
A. For the safety of our patients and employees, we are requesting that necessary visitors enter the building between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. If visitors have any respiratory symptoms have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or have had possible exposure to COVID-19, we ask that they refrain from visiting in the hospital. We would encourage family and friends to continue communicating with patients by video chat, phone, text and email.
We have not issued “no visitors” policies in the past. As a hospital, River’s Edge considers community health a priority in outbreak situations and will follow the guidance from our local healthcare partners.

Q. Should I call ahead if I feel like I need to be seen for my symptoms?

A. If you have a fever or cough AND have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent within 14 days, we would ask that you call ahead so we can be prepared for you when you arrive. Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.

Q. How will I know if there is an occurrence of COVID-19 at River’s Edge Hospital?

A. We are committed to communicating any incidence of the virus in our facility. We will notify our employees and volunteers. We will also be in close communication with our local and state health agencies. To protect the privacy of our patients, any public notification would come from state health agencies.

Q. Do you have adequate staff and equipment to care for patients if there is an outbreak for COVID-19?

A. At this time, we have the appropriate staffing and supplies to care for our patients and we have strategies in place should this become an issue of concern. We will ensure both adequate protective equipment and consistent care for our patients.

Q. Will you stop performing elective orthopedic surgeries?

A. At this time, we have not identified the need to stop performing surgeries. We will work closely with our clinicians and other health care professionals to determine specific criteria that would help us make that decision. At this time, we have the appropriate staffing, supplies and infection control practices in place to ensure safe care for all of our patients.
Any patients scheduled for surgery that have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent within 14 days of their scheduled surgeries should report any fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms to their health care providers to determine if they are appropriate candidates for surgery.

Q. Do I need to cancel my outpatient therapy, lab, x-ray appointments?

A. At this time, River’s Edge Hospital will continue to provide all usual services. We will be happy to see you for all scheduled appointments, and will continue to schedule future appointments. For the safety of our patients and employees, if you have a fever or cough AND have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent within 14 days, we would ask that you reschedule your appointment. Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.

We encourage you to refer to trusted resources for the most recent official updates on COVID-19. Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions that you might have.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Janell Stock knew whatever was making her sick was serious when she called the ambulance to take her to the emergency room.  The nurse of 14 years has had asthma her entire life but when she could not breathe, she knew it was bad.

Now retired, Janell was working as an LPN at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center.  Other than asthma, she was in good health.  In 2014 she had called in sick to work, something that was unusual for her.  She was committed to her job and went in to work, still not feeling well.  It was an early Monday morning, 4:30 a.m. she recalled, when she called the ambulance because she could barely breathe.

The River’s Edge Ambulance was on another call so Janell had to wait for the Le Sueur Ambulance to arrive.  The St. Peter Police arrived first, with oxygen.  “That was helping,” Janell recalled with tears in her eyes.

When the ambulance arrived, she was taken to the Emergency Department at River’s Edge Hospital.  She was scared.  “I had this nice doctor. He was wonderful in a very confusing time.”

It was during that confusing time that the emergency department doctor made a decision that Janell feels saved her life.  Instead of being intubated and going to another hospital, the doctor administered magnesium through Janell’s IV, which opened up her lungs.  “If I wouldn’t have gotten that care, I would  have died.”

She was then admitted to River’s Edge and received care for her condition for the next six days.  “I finally felt I was in a safe place,” Janell said. “I was not going to die.”

Janell said they care she received from the River’s Edge staff was wonderful and the nurses were smart, helpful and kind.  “I could tell they really cared.”  Now, three years later, Janell is on oxygen all the time when she is at home and can go without it for short periods of time.  She is grateful for the care she received and says because of it she feels great.

The Minnesota Department of Health has stated that influenza is widespread throughout the state. River’s Edge is allowing patient visitors during this time with some restrictions. If you have a cough or cold please wear a mask during your visit.

If you are sick, stay home. Urgent Care is open 12-8 Monday- Friday and 8a-8p Saturday and Sunday.

You can stay well this winter by following these suggestions:
· Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Cover your cough, preferable by coughing into your sleeve
· Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way!

The Urgent Care clinic at River’s Edge moved across the hall on Dec. 5.  The new clinic is now located next to Mankato Clinic Dermatology.  The same entrance and parking area should be used.

Patient who are seen in the specialty clinic space with physician from The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic will also be seen in the new location.

This move was necessary so the current space can be emptied as this will be one of the first locations to be renovated in 2018 as part of the new construction and expansion project at River’s Edge.

 

 

The last thing Rhonda Witty needed the week of her son’s wedding was to feel sick and dizzy from the vertigo she has experienced for the past five years.    Rhonda’s week was filled with appointments at the dentist, hair salon, and an unplanned one at River’s Edge Physical Therapy.

Rhonda and her husband live in St. Peter during the winter months and live near Devils Lake, North Dakota in the summer months.  They were back in St. Peter in August for her son’s wedding.  She had been fighting vertigo regularly for the past year, saying if she would move her head a certain way, it would trigger symptoms.

Vertigo is a medical condition that causes a sensation of imbalance.  It is an inner ear problem where the crystals that send messages to the brain are out of place.  Bette Berndt, PT at River’s Edge Hospital, said that when those crystals are out of place, they send a message that you are spinning or falling.  Symptoms of vertigo include a feeling of spinning, tilting, imbalance, swaying, and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache, and sweating.

Rhonda’s symptoms returned when she was getting her hair done.  She said she was laying in the chair and everything started spinning.  “I broke out into a sweat, my eyes felt like they were floating around,” she recalled.

The Thursday before the wedding Rhonda had a dentist appointment and the symptoms returned.  Rhonda said the hygienist asked her if she was okay because she told Rhonda her eyes were moving all over the place.  “You can see how I am feeling?,” she recalled asking.    They hygienist told Rhonda about a procedure that could help Rhonda feel better.  Fortunately, Rhonda also had her annual physical that day and talked to her provider.  “I called physical therapy and got in Friday morning with Bette,” Rhonda said.

The procedure the hygienist told Rhonda about was the one Bette used.  It is called the Epley Maneuver.   The technique is done by having the patient sit up on the treatment table.  The physical therapist has the patient turn their head to the right, and later the left, and fall back quickly to find which side needs to have the crystals adjusted.  If the patient gets dizzy on one side versus the other, that is the side that needs treatment.  Then the Physical Therapist lays the patient down on the treatment table, holding their head off the edge.  The Physical Therapist waits until the dizziness goes away then continues treatment in a different position.  This continues until the patient no longer feels dizzy while in a sitting position.  “It’s hard to explain, but easy to do,” Bette said.   Rhonda said her treatment took about 20 minutes.

After treatment Rhonda went home to rest and then went to the groom’s dinner that night.  She was tired and not her normal active self that night.  Her son’s friends commented that she looked like she was not feeling well.

On the wedding day, Rhonda was feeling great.  She was able to enjoy her son’s wedding with no vertigo symptoms.  Since then, she has been feeling good.   She knows what the triggers are and does things to prevent the dizziness.

Successful treatment of vertigo with the Epley Maneuver depends on the individual. In Rhonda’s case, it took one treatment.  Bette noted that some people need to come in more than one time for treatment.    Patients who have vertigo must have a physician referral before coming to River’s Edge for treatment.  Three of the physical therapists are trained in the Epley Maneuver – Bette Berndt, Kristine Hall and Deb Mattson.    To make an appointment with Physical Therapy, call 931-2200.

 

Interested in seeing how the Epley Manuever works?  Visit this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4S4CbuN6QA

 

 

New Global Research Spurs Call for Urgent Action on Stroke Prevention

River’s Edge Hospital, St. Peter has today joined the global call for urgent action to prevent stroke. The call to action, issued by the World Stroke Organization to mark World Stroke Day on Sunday the 29th October, responds to new data that shows stroke was responsible for over 116 million years of life lived with disability (YLD) worldwide in 2016. This adds to existing global mortality data that positions stroke as the second largest cause of death.

There are an estimated 17 million strokes worldwide each year.  While stroke incidence and mortality rates in high income countries have been on the decline, progress is still slow and uneven. There are also indications that the risk factors for stroke such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and smoking are becoming increasingly prevalent in both high and low-income countries. This has the potential to slow progress on stroke prevention.

River’s Edge Hospital is designated by the Minnesota Department of Health as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.  The MDH recognizes that River’s Edge has essential stoke protocols and systems in place for the best possible outcome for patients.  The Emergency Medical Staff (EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses and Physicians) are trained in quick identification and treatment of stroke symptoms.

Professor Werner Hacke, President of the World Stroke Organization said ‘On World Stroke Day 2017 our members are sending out a global message that stroke is preventable and that we all have good reasons to prevent it. We know that 90% of strokes are associated with just 10 risk factors that we can all do something about. Addressing these risk factors would not just have a major impact on stroke, they would also prevent deaths from other non-communicable diseases. Giving urgent priority to prevention now will yield obvious benefits in terms of reduced human, social and economic costs.’

World Stroke Day will be commemorated at events worldwide on 29th October 2017. More information can be found on the campaign website. www.worldstrokecampaign.org

River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic in St. Peter was one of 139 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health for achieving high influenza vaccination rates among facility employees during the 2016-17 flu season.  More than 90 percent of the staff received the influenza vaccination, earning a blue ribbon from the MDH.

The FluSafe program aims to get 100 percent of all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota, except those with medical exemptions, vaccinated against influenza each season. According to state health officials, unvaccinated health care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.

“Our patients’ health is our top priority,” said Janelle Rauchman, Chief Quality Officer of River’s Edge Hospital. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee influenza vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”

Health care facilities participating in the FluSafe program receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their influenza vaccination rates. The facilities record and document their vaccination rates through the state’s immunization information system, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).

More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2016-17 facilities earning blue, red, and white ribbons, can be found on mdhflu.com.

I CAN Prevent Diabetes ®, a diabetes prevention program held at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic, has received re-accreditation from the Centers for Disease Control.

The class, led by Jennifer Donkin, registered dietician and Nicole Boelter, exercise physiologist at River’s Edge, is a 12-month program for people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.  It focuses on weight loss and increased physical activity.

Donkin has been leading the I CAN Prevent Diabetes ® class since January 2012 and has been sending data to the CDC for 4 years.  “It has been rewarding to work with the participants and see the progress they make in changing their lifestyle over the course of a year,” said Donkin.

Evaluators from the CDC noted that River’s Edge has met all the requirements for accreditation.  “This is a remarkable achievement of which you should be very proud.”

Participants are eligible if they have had a blood test indicating pre-diabetes or by taking a risk assessment at their doctor’s office.  Donkin said local providers are supportive of the class because they see the benefits.

The next I CAN Prevent Diabetes® class begins on August 22 at 6 p.m.  For more information, contact Jennifer Donkin at 507-934-7694.