May 22, 2020 by John Fernandez
Baptist Health’s Enhanced Safety Measures as Elective, Non-Urgent Services Reopen
As Baptist Health South Florida begins to reopen its facilities today for elective, non-urgent surgeries, endoscopies and interventional procedures, the safety of patients, caregivers and visitors is a top priority.
Enhanced protective measures, including mandatory face masks, social distancing guidelines, and entranceway screenings, will help keep everyone safe. Contact your doctor’s office for the status of any appointment that was scheduled before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in cancellations of elective, non-urgent surgeries and procedures.
The safety measures apply to all Baptist Health facilities, including hospitals, urgent care centers, endoscopy centers, and diagnostic imaging centers. See Baptist Health’s website for locations and hours. Regularly scheduled appointments with Baptist Health Medical Group physicians are continuing as planned, though visitor restrictions are in place. If you are worried, please contact your doctor to discuss concerns.
“We want people in our communities to know that Baptist Health has taken all the necessary precautionary actions to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe and healthy,” said Anexis Lopez, R.N, manager of Infection Control at Doctors Hospital, part of Baptist Health South Florida. “The steps we have taken are consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Baptist Health is also working closely with local and state public health officials.”
When entering all Baptist Health facilities, patients, guests and caregivers will be provided with a new protective face mask, as social distancing guidelines remain in place throughout all facilities. “We’ll ask those entering our facilities to please wear the mask we provide during the entirety of their visit,” said Ms. Lopez.
The CDC states that “reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure.” The CDC offers tips on how to protect yourself and others.
Here is a summary of safety measures that are being taken at all Baptist Health facilities:
Enhanced Screenings for Patients, Staff and Visitors
Baptist Health is screening patients and staff for COVID-19 through daily body temperature, signs and symptoms checks, and by asking a series of questions related to potential exposure to the novel coronavirus.
Everyone who enters Baptist Health facilities will be required to wear a mask which we will provide to all employees, medical staff, patients, visitors and vendors. We request that all personal masks be removed inside our facilities.
- Hand hygiene is always a priority for us. Hand sanitizer and handwashing stations are available throughout our facilities, and we encourage you and our caregivers to wash hands liberally.
- Baptist Health has removed frequently touched items such as magazines, toys, coffee and snacks.
- All facilities have instituted extra disinfection practices of the most frequently touched common areas ––– light switches, door handles, bathroom faucets and more.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
To ensure your safety and that of our caregivers, Baptist Health has an adequate supply of PPE for all of our team members and medical staff, including masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. This helps protect you and our team from COVID-19 transmission.
- Baptist Health is adhering to social distancing guidelines throughout all phases of care during your stay. Our lobbies and common areas are appropriately marked to identify areas where it is permissible to sit and stand.
- Baptist Health invites you to wait where you feel most comfortable. If you prefer to wait in your car, please feel free to do so and we will contact you when it is your turn.
As an additional safety measure to reduce overall exposure, Baptist Health will continue to follow limited visitor guidelines. We are asking that only the patient come inside the facility, with the exception of a parent that is accompanying their minor child or other limited special circumstances.
COVID-19 Patient Isolation
A patient who is suspected or confirmed of being COVID-positive will be isolated in a dedicated area to avoid cross-contamination with other patients. We take every precaution that only limited caregivers with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) care for those patients in the designated areas.
Following Safety Protocols
Baptist Health is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and appropriate state guidelines to keep you and our teams safe.