Stormont Vail opens acute respiratory clinic, works on internal test lab, and enhances tele-medicine


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka is treating three people with positive coronavirus test results. Two patients are from Shawnee County and one is from Woodson County. Stormont Vail’s president and CEO Dr. Robert Kenagy outlined some new things going on at the hospital to lead the fight against the disease.

Stormont Vail works with the state’s health department lab along with two other commercial test result labs. Right now, they are working on creating an internal testing lab.

They hope to have the lab up and running in the next week or so, but don’t have a specific date for when it’ll be ready yet.

A “call-before-you-go” acute respiratory clinic is being set up at 4505 N.W. Fielding Road.

Patients who have respiratory symptoms and a fever that need clinical evaluation will be sent to this clinic via the Call Before You Go process in order to limit the exposure of staff and well patients to those with respiratory illness. The North Fielding Express Care will be devoted entirely to respiratory patients. Regular urgent care patients and imaging ordered for North Fielding will be directed to other Express Care locations. There is a tent located outside the clinic to provide treatment to patients without them having to leave their cars, when possible.

The call before you go number is (785) 354-6000. This phone number is the same as the drive-through testing facility, but they are not the same locations and serve different purposes. This clinic will open on Thursday, March 26.

“What’s vitally important right now is this stay-at-home that it works. We need people to adhere to the guidelines and through that stay-at-home process, we’re able to limit the severity and the volume of patients that we are going to have to deal with,” Dr. Kenagy said.

Let’s break down some numbers about how the hospital is equipped:

  • 47 negative pressure rooms
    • A negative pressure room is a room with a fan system that takes the air out of the room and brings new air in many times a day.
    • The hospital is working to add 16 more negative pressure rooms
  • 42 ventilators
  • 234 beds
  • 42 ICU beds

Stormont Vail is also stepping up the telemedicine practice to help treat more patients virtually to keep more people out of the hospital to prevent the virus spread

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