By now, most have read the comparison of the Summer Olympic Games being equivalent to three Super Bowls per day downtown. For many businesses, there are some reasonable and practical solutions to deal with the potential impact of the Games. But the health care industry must make special arrangements in order to provide hands-on delivery of care. The three patient care units of the Emory System of Health Care--Crawford Long Hospital, Emory Hospital and The Emory Clinic--are already trying to project how the huge influx of people might affect operations and services.
Both hospitals plan to operate fully staffed, but anticipate fewer elective procedures and fewer patient visits, especially during heavy traffic times. The Grady/Crawford Long/Emory Hospital shuttle will run during the Olympics, perhaps with a modified schedule, said Harold Price, director of support services for Emory hospitals, who leads Emory Hospital's Olympic Planning Task Force. Price also noted that vendors and suppliers will make deliveries between midnight and 6 a.m.
Located in the Olympic ring in midtown, Crawford Long has been named to the Olympic support hospital network, responsible for Olympic athletes and media. The hospital has designated a secured area for athletes, while a case manager will follow the care of each patient. A special section of the Glenn Building, adjacent to the hospital, will be used for non-urgent emergency room walk-ins. To lessen the confusion with pricing and payment arrangements, special packaged prices will be developed for selected outpatient emergency services.
Crawford Long will provide medical supplies and equipment for the medical stations at the boxing venue, the international press center, the campus housing at Emory, and the Polyclinic at the Olympic Village.
Emory Hospital will serve as the first-aid venue for the 2,100 Olympic visitors who will be staying on campus and as the back-up hospital for any emergency patient overflow from Crawford Long. Emory Clinic sections are currently drawing up plans to determine how they will operate during the Olympics. As part of its developing relationships with corporations that will have large contingents of visiting and international employees, the clinic will staff "mini-clinics" for businesses such as the Coca-Cola Company at their respective hotel sites.
--compiled by Matt Montgomery