AdventHealth plans sweeping changes to safeguard patients, visitors, team members and the greater community as the health-care system begins to reopen many of its services amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The changes announced Thursday, April 30, address issues such as hospital inpatients, elective procedures and primary care visits.
“The requirements the governor has set out are effective and appropriate. We are ready to follow those requirements,” Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida division, says in a news release. “When historians write the books about this time, they will figure out what we did well and what we could have done better. One thing we know is that this virus is real, and people are becoming ill and dying, and that our actions matter.”
In mid-March, AdventHealth took unprecedented measures, including halting elective procedures and visitation, to prepare for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients and preserve critical supplies and personal protective equipment.
As the number of COVID-19 cases decreases in Central Florida and the state begins to reopen, those measures are being phased out, and others instituted, at AdventHealth facilities in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Polk, Volusia and Flagler counties, the release states.
Among the new measures announced Thursday:
All AdventHealth team members and physicians are being tested for COVID-19.
Every patient being admitted or in an observation status, as well as patients undergoing a procedure, will be tested for COVID-19. Only COVID-negative patients will undergo elective procedures at AdventHealth hospitals.
All team members and visitors must wear a surgical/loop mask when in an AdventHealth facility and will be temperature-checked when they enter our buildings.
AdventHealth will resume elective procedures beginning Monday, May 4, with time-sensitive cases taking precedence.
Beginning May 4, each patient will be allowed one visitor per day. Visitors will be given temperature checks and masks to be worn while inside the hospital.
Robust cleaning and sterilization/disinfectant processes have been enhanced, and more sanitization stations have been added across the hospitals.
Video visits and expanded telehealth services will be available immediately, as they have been during the pandemic, to lessen the burden on facilities and provide additional comfort and convenience for patients.
Social distancing, masking and contactless services will become standard practice at AdventHealth Medical Group and Centra Care locations, as well as other outpatient offices.
Instead of waiting in crowded offices, where social distancing may present a challenge, patients will use virtual check-in and wait in their vehicles or outside the practice until a room is ready. Check-out procedures may occur completely on a patient’s mobile device, but sometimes could occur in the exam room if there are extenuating circumstances.
AdventHealth will continue to operate community drive-up testing sites throughout Central Florida, and testing continues in hospitals and Centra Care locations. Altogether, AdventHealth has tested more than 51,000 people in Central Florida for COVID-19, according to the release.
“Our goal is to create an environment that is very safe,” Daryl says. “When you need health care, get health care. We’re here. We will keep you safe.”