May 26, 2020
Fort Walton Beach, FL | Niceville, FL – Upon Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing Executive Order 20-112, physicians are actively scheduling medical procedures at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital. This action expands needed health care for area residents as patients, in consultation with their physicians can scheduled needed procedures, as well as access emergency and inpatient services that have continued to be available to the community through Fort Walton Bach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital.
“We remain diligent in our fight against COVID-19, and the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and communities is and will continue to be our top priority,” said both Mitch Mongell, CEO of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Dave Whalen, CEO of Twin Cities Hospital. “As we continue to monitor the trajectory of this pandemic as well as state and federal policies, we have begun to thoughtfully re-introduce scheduled procedures and surgeries to ensure that those who have been waiting for important care have access to treatment. Our access to resources and our commitment to safety protocols has us uniquely prepared to reintroduce these services. Many people in our community have medical needs unrelated to COVID-19 that should not be ignored, including emergency care.”
Over the past few months, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital have been and will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), maintaining and often exceeding their guidance. The hospitals are taking a four pillar approach for universal protection to help ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues:
- Infection Prevention: Continue to implement universal masking throughout the facility where all caregivers wear masks; follow the surgical algorithm for testing patients prior to surgery; continued heightened infection prevention policies, including the removal of high-touch items such as magazines, toys and vending machines.
- Access Control: Continue to screen all patients, visitors and staff before entering facilities; continue to limit and control entrances into the facility; maintain visitor restrictions
- Patient Flow: Continue to treat COVID-19 patients in isolated areas of the hospital separate from other patients in our care. Patients with scheduled procedures are assigned caregivers who are not caring for COVID-19 patients during their shift.
- Distancing: Social distancing practices will continue and protocols will be in place within hospital areas such as waiting rooms to ensure adherence to these practices.
“We are in continuous communication with state and local health departments, and those surgeons who have direct responsibility for their patients. We have established enhanced protections throughout our sites of care to create a safe environment for everyone who walks through our doors,” said Robert Kiskaddon, CMO at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. “We continue to follow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations as they evolve, and our hospital will accommodate procedures that physicians determine to be appropriate within those recommendations.”