All Articles in the Category ‘Announcements’

COVID-19 and Capacity Updates

Update on Emergency Department and Hospital Capacity

  • Seattle Children’s continues to experience very high census and significant capacity constraints in the Emergency Department and inpatient areas.
  • The recent closure of Fairfax Behavioral Health and decision by Providence Everett to close its pediatric beds to make space for adult patients have further constrained our hospital capacity.
  • Last Friday, July 1, the hospital moved to contingency status for staffing. Contingency falls under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Disaster Planning guidelines and is part of a continuum that ranges from “conventional” to “contingency,” and, finally, “crisis.” Moving to contingency means that the workspaces, staff and/or supplies used are not consistent with daily practices but maintain or have minimal impact on usual patient care processes.
  • We continue to run under a disaster incident command structure to rapidly manage issues and ensure safe care for the patients that need us.
  • Our region is reporting that most hospitals are over 100% capacity and some are reporting their highest occupancy ever. This is resulting in rural critical access hospitals (those without critical care capabilities) frequently boarding critically ill patients in their Emergency Departments for prolonged periods of time. It is also stressing the EMS system and impacting 911 response times in certain areas of the state.
  • It is imperative that our provider colleagues manage patients in primary care whenever possible and appropriate. If sending patient to the Seattle Children’s ED, please call our Communications Center at 206-987-8899 first. This will help us to manage and plan for necessary space and staffing. Please also inform the family we will see them as soon as we can but there is likely to be a wait.
  • See our Emergency or Urgent Care Referral Guide.

COVID-19 Vaccination for Children Ages 6 Months to 4 Years Old

Seattle Children’s is now able to offer COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 6 months to 4 years (under 5 years old) based on approvals last month from the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

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OBCC Central District Building Closes for Further Evaluation

During routine evaluations of the renovation project currently underway at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) Central District, it was discovered that repairs were needed that were beyond the original scope. As a result, we are closing this location for the time being to fully evaluate the situation and develop long-term plans. We have rescheduled families who had appointments at OBCC Central District to receive care at OBCC Othello or via telehealth. OBCC Central District workforce will move to the Othello location, which has space to absorb all the additional staff and patients.

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New Spanish-Language Class for Families: Where to Start When Looking for Mental Health Care

Seattle Children’s is now offering our recently introduced class, “Finding Mental Health Care in Washington State: A Class on Where to Start,” in Spanish too. The class will be offered virtually (on Zoom) starting in July. It is a live class and includes a question-and-answer session.

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Seattle Children’s Recognized as One of the Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; 125 “Top Docs” Recognized by Seattle Magazine

One of the Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals

We are honored to share that U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) has again ranked Seattle Children’s among the nation’s best children’s hospitals. Seattle Children’s is the top-ranked pediatric hospital in Washington and the Pacific Northwest and among the top three pediatric hospitals in the Pacific region, which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Seattle Children’s has received this recognition every year for 30 years! This important designation distinguishes Seattle Children’s as one of the top places in the nation providing pediatric care.

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Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan: An Update From Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s has released its third quarterly progress report on the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan. Despite the urgency of our work, this is a process that takes time. This report highlights both recent progress and challenges. We are committed to accountability as we systematically dismantle racism within the organization. Our ask for active community medical staff is that you read the report and continue to hold us accountable.

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New Seattle Children’s Program Invests in Training and Mentoring Future Scientists to Expedite New Therapeutics for Pediatric Diseases

Seattle Children’s Research Institute is investing $45 million in the new Invent at Seattle Children’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program that will prepare scholars for careers in biotech or academia. The program will provide mentorship, education and financial support for 10 postdoctoral scholars per year to help them create new “discovered here” cellular, gene or protein therapeutics that ultimately advance to clinical trials for children. Seattle Children’s Foundation has pledged to raise an additional $10 million for the program.

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Special Update: Seattle Children’s Now Offers COVID-19 Vaccines to Children Ages 6 Months to 5 Years Old

Starting today, Seattle Children’s is offering appointments to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years (under 6 years old) to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, based on recent approvals from the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. We are grateful to be able to offer COVID-19 vaccines to young patients.

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Special Update: Ongoing Extreme High Volumes in ED

Our Emergency Department (ED) continues to experience very high patient volumes. We are practicing in a crisis mode almost every day with volumes routinely as much as 50% higher than anticipated and sometime over 200% capacity. Children are coming in for a variety of reasons such as COVID-19, many other viruses, mental health concerns and our usual significant childhood illnesses and injuries.  Our ED capacity is further constrained by the everyday occurrence of boarding patients and ED construction. Please continue to identify and manage low acuity complaints in outpatient settings to help maintain our limited capacity in the ED for higher acuity concerns. When referring a patient to the ED please call our Communications Center at 206-987-8899. It is helpful to inform your families that wait times may be longer than expected and that our increased number of provider staff are working hard to see all patients as quickly as possible.

Please contact Tony Woodward, ED Medical Director and Division Chief for any suggestions, questions or concerns.

Our urgent care (UC) clinics are also experiencing high volumes. Reminding families to schedule a same day UC appointment as early as possible will help them with timely access. They can use the UC  online scheduling system or call the hospital’s main number 206-987-2000.

Please refer to “Emergency or Urgent Care?” for general triage guidance to the ED vs UC.

Update on COVID-19 and Hospital Capacity

  • Our Emergency Department (ED) continues to experience very high volumes. Children are coming in for a variety of reasons, primarily related to COVID-19, other viruses, mental health concerns and normal childhood injuries.

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Updated Referral Guidelines for Heart Center

Our Heart Center has updated its website to better facilitate a smooth referral process for community providers and their patients. The updated guidelines provide our current wait times (five days or less for urgent referrals and up to a few weeks for non-urgent ones) and information about where to send the referral since referrals should be submitted to the Heart Center clinic location where the patient would like to be seen (this is different than most Seattle Children’s clinics).

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