Health Notes: New visitor guidelines announced at Boca, Bethesda hospitals

Want to visit a friend or family member in the hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak? Check the new rules first, like these for Baptist Health South Florida, which operates Boca Raton Regional Hospital and the Bethesda hospitals in Boynton Beach.
As of June 15, for inpatient units, one adult visitor at a time is allowed from 3–9 p.m. Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 will not be allowed visitors except under exceptional circumstances.
For labor and delivery and maternity, one partner may stay continuously with a patient.
For outpatient facilities, including emergency department and urgent care centers, one adult visitor may accompany patients at all times.
At physician offices with enough space to accommodate visitors, one adult visitor may accompany a patient.
At the Lynn Cancer Institute at Boca Regional, no visitors will be able to accompany adult patients for the duration of the pandemic. This is to protect immuno-compromised cancer patients and the center’s employees from the risks of COVID-19.
Limited exceptions may allow a single adult visitor for new patients, pediatric patients, adult patients with identified neuro-cognitive impairments, and patients with physical impairments that require special assistance from their caretakers, as determined by their clinical teams.
All visitors must be 18 or older and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. Anyone displaying symptoms or risk of exposure will not be allowed to visit.
Masks are required to be worn at all times, and will be provided upon entry. All visitors will need to follow social distancing guidelines, and waiting rooms and other common areas will be monitored to ensure social distancing. For more information, visit www.baptisthealth.net/coronavirus. ;
 
HCA Healthcare hospitals, which include JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, continue with precautions against spreading COVID-19.
They include limited entrances where screening and temperature checks will be performed; a separate tower for COVID-19 patients; masks that exceed federal guidelines required for all; and limited visitation with social distancing. One visitor (screened negative and wearing a mask) is permitted to accompany each patient during procedures; the hospital also offers virtual visitation. Common areas have been reconfigured to ensure adequate spacing.
 
JFK Medical Center, as well as its north campus and Palms West Hospital, now offers an insurance hotline. For people who need insurance coverage option assistance, call 833-867-8771 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
 Hotline advisers can discuss eligibility and advocacy services such as continuing on an employer’s existing plan after job loss; applying for coverage through a spouse’s benefit program; resources that may help offset the costs of health insurance; Medicaid resources; and state and federal health insurance exchanges, such as the Affordable Care Act, and how to enroll due to a changing life event.
The hospital network is not representing companies or selling insurance plans, and there is no cost for this service.
 
Tenet Healthcare’s Palm Beach Health Network hospitals, which include Delray Medical Center, have relaxed visitation policies to allow one designated support person to accompany each elective surgery, pediatric and maternity patient. Visitors will be screened for fever, respiratory symptoms or travel to high-risk locations before entering the hospitals, and they are required to wear visitor identification, face masks, and to sanitize their hands.
In mid-June, Delray Medical Center’s Imaging Center at Palm Court resumed its outpatient and diagnostic services with safety standards in place.
“We understand that many of our patients were unable to schedule, or had to postpone their diagnostic appointments due to state orders and social distancing. They can now reschedule these important screenings and tests at our Palm Court location,” said Maggie Gill, chief executive officer of the Palm Beach Health Network and Delray Medical Center. “We are making sure safety protocols are in place for our patients so they can feel safe and confident about getting the care they need.”  
DMC Imaging Center at Palm Court is at 5130 Linton Blvd., Suite I-1, Delray Beach.
 
Delray Medical Center received the Healthgrades 2020 Patient Safety Excellence Award for the third consecutive year.
“It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to providing safe care, especially at a time when our community needs us most,” Gill said.
“We are seeing cases where people are delaying care for things like strokes and heart attacks, which can lead to life-threatening illnesses, and we want our patients to understand that our hospitals are safe places. We have always cared for patients with infectious diseases, and we are prepared. We have taken the appropriate steps, and we have the supplies needed to ensure appropriate safety standards are in place.”
 
SBA Communications Corp. has rolled out a new wellness program with its exclusive corporate wellness partner, Boca Raton Regional Hospital. The arrangement encompasses services that include on-site and off-site doctor’s appointments, blood pressure checks and blood screenings, mobile mammograms, yoga, meditation and mental health services, nutrition, lectures and other services, many of which are available to SBA’s entire 1,500-person workforce by video.
In other news, SBA made a gift of $1 million to support Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Keeping the Promise campaign.
 
Sun Capital Partners Foundation Inc., with founders Rodger R. Krouse and Marc J. Leder and their families, donated $1 million to Boca Regional’s Keeping the Promise campaign in May.
“As local residents operating a global business headquartered here for the past 25 years, we and the Sun Capital family truly appreciate the dedication and hard work that frontline health care professionals do every day to keep community residents safe and healthy,” Leder said.

To identify patterns and symptoms of COVID-19, a team of scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine launched a study using the Oura ring, a device that tracks body temperature, movement and sleep data. Led by Janet Robishaw, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, the university’s research team is part of the TemPredict global study spearheaded by the University of California, San Francisco.
The Oura ring, which looks like a wedding band, is worn around-the-clock to provide data in real time. The data alerts the user and the researchers of physiological changes.
The FAU research team has taken TemPredict to the next level by incorporating two additional phases: determining if study participants go on to develop acute COVID-19 infections, and to garner an understanding of the prevalence rate. At six and 12 weeks, the researchers will conduct blood tests to identify whether the study participants have developed immune responses to COVID-19. 
Also, the FAU research team members, who have developed a COVID-19 test that uses a saliva sample instead of a sample obtained with a nasal swab, will conduct weekly saliva tests.
Once they’ve gathered the data, they will work with scientists of Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science to use artificial intelligence for predictive purposes. They also will be able to correlate their data to the TemPredict study of more than 2,000 health care workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients.
 
Ethan Strikowski, Rylie Lougher and Megan Lougher, students from Park Vista Community High, started a project through their Facebook page, “Feeding our Heroes,” to raise money to purchase food from restaurants to bring to frontline workers caring for COVID-19 patients.
In May they began to deliver lunches from Long Island Bagel and Deli to health care workers at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and they brought food to workers at JFK Medical Center, purchased from In Good Taste Catering and Gourmet Café and Nature's Corner Café.
 
BeWellPBC, a countywide behavioral health initiative, has launched “Be Well Do Well Mini-Grants,” which will fund creative projects with awards up to $5,000.
Applicants must be Palm Beach County residents or organizations with ideas to build behavioral health support, promote workforce wellness, and/or focus on residents most in need. Applicants are not limited to nonprofit organizations.
Residents of all ages, community groups, religious organizations, for-profit businesses, schools, other educational facilities and local municipalities are eligible to apply through July 11 at bewellpbc.org/dowellgrants.

Send health news to Christine Davis at cdavis9797@gmail.com.

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