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Healthwise Maui

Q: If an employee, patient, or concerned community member wants to share a concern, what is the best way to ensure it gets reviewed and addressed?

Michael Rembis, chief executive officer, Maui Health System: Yes, we welcome and appreciate all feedback, concerns and questions and have various ways that we can be reached. We are dedicated to ensuring our Maui Health ‘ohana, which includes our employees, patients, providers and community, knows that their feedback is valued, and they are being heard.

As far as community feedback, please encourage our community to ensure we are aware of any issues or concerns. As a community hospital, our employees, providers and leadership also are valuable community members, it is vital we hear from you. We take your concerns seriously and need to hear from you directly to address them. We ask that you submit your feedback and questions via our website at mauihealth.org/contact or anonymously through our CARE Hotline at 242-2273 (CARE).

For patient feedback, Maui Health hospitals and clinics are dedicated to providing safe, compassionate care — that is our number one priority. If we fail in that attempt, we want to know. We encourage patients or their family members to call our Patient Care Experience Hotline at 242-2266. If you leave a message with your contact info and brief description of the experience or concern, a Patient Care Experience Coordinator will return your call within 24 business hours.

Additionally, hearing from a patient or their family about a positive experience at a Maui Health facility is also important. Our team works tirelessly to care of our community every day. Letters of thanks can brighten up a day and remind all our caregivers that they do make a difference. You can submit letters of gratitude on our website at mauihealth.org/contact.

For employee feedback, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single employee in every department and has created immense change and challenges. With over 1,600 employees, we are not always made aware of every issue, but it is important that we do. If any employee is experiencing any problem or issue, we urge them to bring it to the attention of another leader or submit their concern to leadership. Employees have access to contact information (email and phone numbers) for any Maui Health senior leader. If they feel uncomfortable disclosing their personal identity, they can also leave an anonymous message on our Maui Health CARE Hotline.

It is critical that employees take the steps needed to get help, report a problem immediately, and follow up until they have found resolution. Our priority is the safety of our employees, providers and patients and any safety concerns will be prioritized to be addressed immediately.

Q: During COVID-19, is it still the best thing to call 911 when someone is having stroke symptoms or a stroke? What is the best thing to do?

Mariah Mossman, registered nurse, stroke program manager, Maui Health: Remember the acronym “BE-FAST” to recognize a stroke. BE-FAST stands for: Balance, Eyes, Facial droop, Arm weakness, Speech — Time to call 911. Take notice if someone suddenly becomes unstable or loses coordination, this could be a loss of balance.

Be aware of a sudden loss of vision, blurry vision, or trouble with eyesight. Facial droop is a classic sign of stroke. Check if one side of the person’s face is drooping or feels numb. Ask them to smile and watch to see if their smile is lopsided. Arm or leg weakness on one side of the body is another sign of stroke. Someone may suddenly have a hard time holding objects in one hand, ask them to raise both arms and see if they have trouble raising one side. Slurred speech or difficulty speaking, or understanding can also happen with stroke. Ask them to repeat a simple sentence, they may slur their speech, mumble or not be able to speak at all.

Finally, T is for time, time to call 911. The signs and symptoms of stroke can sometimes be subtle but will come on suddenly. You must take immediate action, please don’t wait to see if the signs and symptoms will resolve on their own.

COVID-19 has changed our daily lives, but don’t let it change the way you treat an emergency. Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke. We have wonderful treatments for stroke at Maui Memorial Medical Center as a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center, but time is crucial — therapies to treat a stroke must happen within a set period of time after the stroke has happened or they’re not as effective.

Maui Memorial Medical Center is taking many precautions to keep patients and staff safe from COVID-19, including screening everyone entering the hospital, rapid-testing all patients, wearing appropriate PPE, and isolating COVID-positive patients in designated “warm units.”

When someone is having a stroke, every second counts. If you recognize the warning signs and symptoms, don’t wait, call 911 immediately.

* Physicians, providers and administrative staff who practice at Maui Health System hospitals and clinics answer questions from the public in “Healthwise Maui,” which appears on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Maui Health System operates Maui Memorial Medical Center, Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lana’i Community Hospital and accepts all patients. To submit a question, go to the website at mauihealth.org/healthwise.

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