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February 11, 2008

      CENSUS AT DAYTON CHILDREN’S SPIKES: About three weeks ago, we began    to see a dramatic increase in the number of influenza isolates and a steady rise
      in the number of RSV isolates.  Of note, the CDC recently reported that as
      many as 40 percent of influenza isolates this year are strains of
      influenza A and B that are dissimilar from the vaccine strains.  As you
      know, the decision to incorporate specific strains is made in the late
      winter, of the preceding winter.  This may explain the observation by some
      clinicians that they are seeing significant numbers of immunized
      individuals who have clinical influenza.
      The impact of this is that we are seeing dramatically more patients, both
      in the outpatient setting and the inpatient units.  The emergency
      department has seen over 2,275 patients in the first 10 days of February,
      while the two urgent care centers have seen 1,150 more patients.  The
      average inpatient daily census has exceeded 100 children with several days
      at or above 110 patients.  The inpatient generalist team has activated the
      "purple" team, the third inpatient attending coverage.  This patient load
      carries over to every area in the hospital from the lab to pharmacy to
      We ask for your patience during this very busy time.  Please advise
      families that our staff is trying to provide care as quickly and as
      efficiently as possible.  However, there may be times when there are
      delays discharging a child, turning over a room or getting orders written.
       You can help by explaining to families how busy it is and that we are
      working together to care for their children.
      We expect that the current influenza outbreak will last an additional six
      weeks.  Predictably we will then see at least four to six more weeks of
      endemic disease due to RSV.  Please note we have also implemented
      visitation guidelines for family members.  When we see these kinds of
      respiratory pathogens and when the census grows, it become increasingly
      difficult to accommodate unlimited visitation.  Thank you for your help
      and patience.  Questions?  Call Tom Murphy, MD, at 937-641-5871.

      GASTROENTEROLOGY AND LIPID DEPARTMENT: The gastroenterology and lipid
      department at Dayton Children’s will begin incorporating electronic health
      records on March 5, 2008. We have been preparing for this over the past
      six months and are hopeful the transition will go smoothly.  Electronic
      health records will allow us to take better care of our patients and help
      us improve the timeliness and quality of our communications with you. We
      have had to temporarily decrease the normal amount of patients we see in
      clinic in order to allow the physicians and staff to become comfortable
      using our new system in an efficient and timely manner. We will make every
      effort to ensure this does not significantly impact our accessibility. If
      you have any concerns or issues please contact Adam Mezoff, MD, through
      his office coordinator at 937-641-3090, option 4, then 1. 
      Thank you for your continued referrals and the opportunity to help care
      for your patients.


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