Many aspects of everyday life have slowed to a crawl since the pandemic, but medical emergencies isn’t one of them. From broken bones and deep cuts to chest pains and other ailments, patients with non-COVID-19 related emergencies still need to come to the E.R. That could cause anxiety for some E.R. patients and their family members, but Tavares local hospital, AdventHealth Waterman, has expanded its policies and procedures to ensure its E.R. patients are as safe as possible from COVID-19. Here are six steps that help make visits to the local E.R. safer.
Temperature Checks and Screening Touchless temperature checks and screening questions are given to all patients upon entering the hospital. A green sticker is placed on patients without a fever and any patients with a fever are immediately segregated to an area that is designated for potential COVID patients. All medical staff and providers are also screened daily upon entering the hospital or any of their other care locations.
Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation An Environmental Services team works to ensure all rooms in the hospital have enhanced cleaning and sanitation prior to another patient entering. The hospital also uses a “LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot” that reduces the risk of healthcare-associated infections caused by microorganisms. In tests, the impressive robot destroyed the live Ebola virus in less than one minute.
Universal Mask Use Masks are required for all patients, visitors and staff for the entire time that they are on campus. AdventHealth Waterman has enough masks to provide each patient, visitor or staff member with a mask that is within the standards and guidelines of AdventHealth. If anyone’s mask is insufficient or they don’t have one, one will be provided to them.
Social Distancing Social distancing is required when in the E.R. The Waterman team has placed reminder signage throughout the E.R. and on its chairs. Patients can clearly see that they must skip every other chair in the lobby to help protect themselves by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others per CDC guidelines.
Visitor Restrictions AdventHealth Waterman has a visitor policy in place that allows one visitor, per patient, per day. This limits the amount of outside exposure coming into the facility which helps increase the safety for all. If there is an end-of-life situation, the facility will work directly with the family so that they may see their loved one.
Segregation of COVID-19 Symptomatic Patients COVID-19 patients that enter the emergency room are brought immediately to a different wing away from the other patients. When admitted into the hospital, these patients have their own designated floor that is separate from other patients, and only accessible to employees.
In addition to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, these steps also provide reassurance to patients arriving at the E.R. “Everyone at AdventHealth Waterman has gone above and beyond during this pandemic to make sure that patients and their families are safe in our care,” says AdventHealth Waterman Emergency Medicine physician, Dr. Timothy Cheslock. “We want to make sure that everyone in the community continues to have access to the best care possible in these challenging times.”
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