Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have forgone once routine activities like movie nights and shopping trips in accordance with public safety guidelines. Others, however, put off more pressing needs like elective procedures and medical care. As the country reopens, AdventHealth is taking specific measures to ensure the safety of patients and team members while also encouraging those who may have delayed care to seek the treatment they need with important health services back online.
“The psychological toll of the pandemic has manifested itself in numerous ways, and for many people it’s through avoidance behavior with their health care,” said Peter Ganpat, MD, an interventional psychiatrist in AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “As society tries to regain a semblance of normalcy, it is critical people not let apprehension caused by the pandemic act as a catalyst for putting off their health care needs.”
Even at the height of the pandemic when stay-at-home orders and surge preparedness measures limited many in-facility patient visits, AdventHealth continued to treat non-COVID-19 patients with immediate medical needs and also leveraged virtual visits to care for many others.
With operations ramped up again, the organization has implemented a number of measures to safeguard patients, team members and communities at its hospitals and other care locations. These include requiring everyone to wear masks; restricting visitation; touchless registration; performing temperature screenings on everyone entering the facility; modifying access points and following social distancing guidelines; instituting new deep-cleaning procedures; and cohorting COVID-19 patients.
“It has been difficult to think about preventive health care or even keep routine appointments, but it is important to catch up on taking care of yourself,” said Brent Box, MD, chief medical officer and associate chief clinical officer for AdventHealth. “Our reopening plans have been carefully developed by our teams of experts to keep patients safe from the moment they enter our facilities.”
As people in communities across the country juggle caring for themselves and for loved ones at a time when both can be a challenge, it is essential that physical, mental and spiritual needs are cared for appropriately and not avoided until they become urgent. Seeking care when needs are emerging rather than critical can have a significant impact on prognosis, cost of care and risk of complications.
“We are all adjusting to a new normal, but our mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ remains the same. It is a privilege to serve our patients and whether they have delayed treatment our have an emerging health care need, our caregivers and team members are looking forward to providing whole-person care for body, mind and spirit,” Box added.