CORONAVIRUS: Know the Facts
Baptist Health hosts Press Conference & Facebook Live with leading experts
MIAMI – March 5, 2020 – Baptist Health South Florida featured a panel discussion Wednesday about the Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19. As questions and concerns arise throughout South Florida and nationwide about potential outbreaks, Baptist Health experts offered insights on infection protection, the latest on symptom awareness and how Baptist Health is prepared and screening potential patients, including the pivotal role of telemedicine, or Care on Demand, which allows you to see a physician from any mobile device or PC — any time, 24/7.
“As an organization tasked with taking care of our community, Baptist Health takes emergency preparedness very seriously,” said Dr. John Braden, Baptist Health’s director for emergency preparedness. “Across all our entities, we have a screening process at all entry points — including ERs and urgent care facilities — screening for pneumonia-like symptoms, and particularly fever and respiratory complaints.”
“Once we identify potential patients, they are moved into a triage area and we’ll do an in-depth interview on any possible travel history (and possible contact with potentially sick individuals). We would then identify and isolate them if they meet the criteria. And with guidance from the CDC and the Florida Health Department, we’ll manage any potential cases.”
Dr. David Mishkin, medical director of Baptist Health’s telehealth app, Baptist Health Care On Demand, offered the following insight: “Telemedicine is an alternative to seek care without physically having to go to a doctor’s office, an urgent care center, or a hospital. This is an excellent alternative for patients to seek care with our providers who have been trained and are following surveillance guidelines and CDC protocols.”
Things become more complicated for patients with comorbidities (one or more pre-existing chronic health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes).
“These are baseline conditions, such as respiratory disease or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or even complicated asthma cases or patients with other diseases, such as those recovering from lung cancer,” said Dr. Javier Pérez-Fernández, pulmonologist and critical care director at Baptist Hospital of Miami. “This is the population that can be exposed to more serious complications.”
Dr. Aileen Marty, professor, Infectious Diseases, at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, offers the following advice for protecting yourself against COVID-19: “It is very important to be hygienic. The good news about this virus is that it has an envelope. And envelope viruses are more sensitive to most any cleaning ingredients that we can use, almost any easy over-the-shelf cleaner. So by cleaning surfaces and keeping surfaces clean that are frequently touched, we’re going to reduce the spread.”
About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.