Baptist Health Updates Policies in Response to Safer-at-Home Order
As we continue to navigate through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recommendations continue to evolve, Baptist Health remains focused on protecting patients, medical providers, team members, and the local community.
Based on Governor Kay Ivey’s recent Safer at Home order and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Surgeons (ACS), Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), and the Surgeon General, Baptist Health will continue current COVID-19 safety measures and begin implementing others.
Effective May 4, Baptist Health policies are as follows:
• Visitor Policies:
o Visitors will not be permitted to enter any Baptist Health facility.
o Exceptions may be granted in compassionate care situations, such as maternity, NICU and end-of-life scenarios.
o All pediatric patients can be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
o Baptist Health highly encourages the use of alternative options for patient and visitor interactions such as video-calls, video-messaging, and other communication applications via cell phones, laptops, or tablets. Baptist Health team members will be equipped with phones to help accommodate this type of interaction for patients.
• Temperature Screening Stations:
o All Baptist Health team members, providers, patients and visitors will receive a temperature and questionnaire screening prior to being granted entry into any Baptist Health facility.
o These screenings are being conducted in consideration of CDC and ADPH recommendations.
o Screenings will include:
Questions about your symptom and travel history
o Anyone who requires additional steps will be provided further direction and may be denied entry into the facility.
o Patients who have an appointment are encouraged to arrive early to allow time for this temperature and questionnaire screening.
• Masking/Glove Policies:
o All Baptist Health team members and providers must now wear a mask of some type while in a Baptist Health facility to include hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, imaging centers and business buildings.
o All visitors who have been granted entry into a Baptist Health facility to include hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, imaging centers and business buildings are required to bring a face covering with them and wear the face covering at all times.
o All patients entering a Baptist Health facility to include hospitals, surgery centers, clinics, imaging centers and business buildings are required to bring a face covering with them and wear the face covering prior to and while receiving care.
o For more information on how to make a face covering, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
o Please do not wear gloves to Baptist Health facilities. While gloves can be protective, if worn incorrectly or multiple times they can be a carrier of infection and cause more harm than good.
• Elective Procedures:
o Certain elective procedures will resume on Monday, May 4.
o Most elective procedures that involve the mouth and nose will not be performed. (ex: esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGDs), sinus, throat, dental and other procedures involving the airway)
o Outpatient surgery patients must be accompanied by a responsible party (family member, friend, or parent) during their time at Baptist Health.
o The responsible party will be asked to provide a phone number where they can be reached and remain on campus in their car during the patient’s procedure.
o Baptist Health physicians and staff will relay updates, surgery outcome and discharge instructions to the responsible party via phone.
o Patients should expect to receive more communication from their surgeon’s office regarding specific details.
• Clinic Appointments:
o Clinics will start ramping up to begin seeing patients at a reduced capacity on Monday, May 4.
o Only patients with scheduled appointments will be allowed entry; no visitors will be allowed to accompany those patients for their appointment.
o Patients will be triaged to determine when and how they will be scheduled.
o Some patients may be seen using Baptist Health On Call Care telemedicine services, while others will be asked to come in for an in-person visit.
o Clinic schedules will be spaced out to comply with current social distancing guidelines.
o Well and sick patient visits will take place at different times of the day to allow appropriate sanitation measures to take place.
o Patients should expect to receive more communication from their provider’s office regarding specific appointment details.
• Emergency Services:
o Baptist Health Emergency Departments remain operational 24 hours, seven days a week and are safe for patients requiring emergency care.
o All emergency rooms and entrances undergo extensive cleaning and sanitization processes.
o Baptist Health team members are available to serve all patients and continue to keep patient safety as a top priority– separating COVID-19 suspicious and COVID-19 positive patients from the general patient population.
o Waiting rooms have been reconfigured to maintain the six feet social distancing guidelines.