May 25, 2020 by Peter B. Laird
With COVID-19, Safety of Baptist Health’s Patients and Staff is Paramount
Patient safety has always been a top priority at Baptist Health South Florida. Now, as the world learns to live with new challenges posed by COVID-19, the health system is taking extraordinary steps to ensure the safety of patients and staff at all of its facilities throughout South Florida.
In addition to stepped-up screenings and stringent infection control procedures, Baptist Health is continuing the enhanced patient safety procedures it instituted with the arrival of the COVID-19 virus, and working closely with local and state public health officials to ensure the latest protocols are being employed system-wide.
All eleven of Baptist Health’s hospitals maintain special protocols for patients who have tested positive for or are suspected to have COVID-19. These include isolating patients in a dedicated area to avoid cross-contamination with other patients, using special negative-air-flow rooms that are carefully cleaned and sanitized after every patient, and ensuring that all caregivers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
According to Jonathan Fialkow, M.D., deputy medical director, chief of cardiology at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and the physician tasked with leading Baptist Health’s recovery phase efforts, the enhanced measures are consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and should give patients, caregivers, families and visitors peace of mind that Baptist Health is doing everything in its power to ensure their safety.
“We’re adhering to social distancing guidelines in all of our hospitals, urgent care centers, endoscopy centers and diagnostic imaging centers,” Dr. Fialkow explained. “All of our lobbies, waiting rooms and common areas are appropriately marked to identify where you can sit or stand. Or, if you prefer, you can wait in your car and we’ll contact you when it’s time to come inside.”
Limiting the number of visitors at its hospitals is another way Baptist Health is keeping patients and staff safe, said Dr. Fialkow. “We ask that only the patient come inside the facility – with the exception of a parent who’s accompanying their child or some other special circumstance.” Exceptions will be made in the pediatric, maternity and neonatal intensive care units, Fialkow added, and all visitors will be screened for cold- and flu-like symptoms.
For the latest information on Baptist Health facilities, locations and hours, see Baptist Health’s website. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) also offers tips on how to protect yourself and others from exposure to the coronavirus.
Concerned you may have coronavirus?
Use our online Coronavirus Assessment tool or call our COVID-19 hotline, 1-833-MYBAPTIST (833-692-2784). To see a doctor on your phone from the comfort and safety of your home, download Baptist Health Care On Demand. Use code CARE19 for a free visit.