CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB)–Northwest Florida Community Hospital has been hard at work keeping patients and staff safe.
“All the doors are locked except for one and it’s the door at our emergency room exit,” said Dr. Leisa Bailey, a Family Physician at NWFCH.
The hospital is limiting access to inside the building as much as possible. Upon arrival, every visitor must have their temperature taken as well as answer a series of questions.
“Even just coming into the office is not what it used to be. And then if folks have fevers and coughs, we’re definitely going out to the cars and examining them so they don’t bring that stuff into the office,” Bailey said.
The hospital’s lobby is also now closed.
“We’re having patients call us from the parking lot and tell us when they’re there and so they’re not waiting in the lobby, they’re waiting in the parking lot and not very long,” Bailey said.
Nurses take the patients straight to exam rooms to prevent the spread of germs.
The hospital is also depending on telehealth services as they meet with patients electronically. Patients can schedule appointments via “YOUR DOC 2U” Telehealth Solutions. The hospital says he Providers aren’t able to conduct all visits using telemedicine, however, it does work well for simple complaints, routine follow up, and prescription refills. At this time the patient must be an established patient to use the telehealth service.
“So the biggest benefit is it allows you to stay home. It keeps you from coming to the house and getting exposed to any of the germs that might be there in the office,” Bailey said.
Visitation is also now limited. Those getting surgery are only allowed to have one visitor. Other situations are dealt with on a case by case basis.
“If you have an end of life situation, there will be minimal visitations that will be allowed,” Bailey said.
While Washington County currently has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, Bailey encourages the community to be proactive and follow the CDC’s recommendations.
To learn more about the hospital’s efforts, visit www.nfch.org/.