Rush University Medical Center today announced the safe release of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient, following clinical recommendations. The patient, whose identity Rush is not disclosing, was admitted to the hospital early Thursday morning.
The Medical Center has been working closely with public health officials and has determined that the patient is able to begin recovery under quarantine at home. The patient still is showing symptoms but no longer requires hospitalization.
“The safety and care of our patients, staff, students and the entire community is our top priority,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center. “Rush is built for this — treating affected patients in complete isolation without compromising the safety and well-being of anyone receiving care at Rush. Being able to have coronavirus patients safely recover in quarantine outside of the clinical setting will help us reduce spread and protect the public.”
Rush telemedicine program uses tech to fight COVID-19
Rush University System for Health has invested in and built a robust digital platform to advance its telemedicine program, which includes e-visits, video visits and the My Rush mobile app, which allow for patients to receive care without coming to a hospital and clinic and potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus or other viruses.
“Telemedicine is already showing great promise in terms of treating infectious diseases, and Rush is on the cutting edge when it comes to using this technology effectively,” Lateef said. “As the federal government acts to empower health care providers to leverage this technology for coronavirus, it is our sincere hope that there is a national conversation around what this means for reimbursement.
“It is critical that our patients have control and flexibility over their care,” Lateef added. “If telemedicine can help put a patient’s mind at ease about avoiding contamination, while also receiving needed care, that is a win for everyone.”
Rush part of ‘coordinated and comprehensive public health plan’
Lateef expressed gratitude to the Chicago, Cook County and Illinois public health departments as great partners and resources as this public health event continues.
“We’ve been working very closely with hospitals and other health care and community partners on the ongoing response to COVID-19, and this is an example of that coordinated and comprehensive public health plan working,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, MD, Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner. “We are very lucky here in the Chicago region to have so many high-quality health care institutions, like Rush, that have the capability to care for patients like this in the most up-to-date setting.
“Based on what we’ve seen internationally, most patients with COVID-19 have relatively mild symptoms and recover fully. I am pleased that Rush’s patient is well enough to go home.”
Rush experts remind the community that basic actions are critically important in avoiding exposure to any kind of communicable illness — among them washing hands and social distancing. For more information and regular updates, visit the Rush University Medical Center coronavirus resource page.
About Rush University Medical Center and infectious disease
Rush University Medical Center is one of 35 federally designated hospitals specifically designed to treat infectious diseases. The Medical Center possesses the following capabilities:
- Rush is staffed with renowned infectious disease specialists and equipped with the capabilities to address outbreaks;
- Rush facilities are built to provide the treatment necessary to care for a person with a complex or highly transmissible disease while minimizing risk to other patients;
- With 40 negative pressure rooms — where the air is sanitized before being exhausted — and the ability to scale up further, Rush facilities are extremely well equipped should the presence of the virus in Chicago escalate.
About Rush University System for Health
Rush University System for Health (RUSH) is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. RUSH comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush-Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University, with more than 2,700 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.