As Florida’s economy slowly prepares to re-open, Tampa General Hospital will continue using strict safety guidelines to begin performing elective surgeries and procedures next week.
Tampa, FL (April 30, 2020) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Phase One of his plan to re-open Florida’s economy that has been devastated by COVID-19. Calling the plan “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.” Governor DeSantis said, “Florida will take a step; small, deliberate, methodical and based on consultation with some of our greatest physicians towards a much more hopeful future.” Phase One of the re-open Plan begins Monday, May 4th.
While some industries will remain closed and others allowed limited operations, the Governor did call for elective surgeries to resume as long as hospitals retain surge capacity in the event of a COVID spike, maintain adequate PPE materials for safe treatment and work proactively with long term care facilities and nursing homes to be able to prevent COVID outbreaks.
Tampa General Hospital President and CEO, John Couris, serves on the Executive Committee of the Re-Open Florida Task Force and advised the Governor on today’s announcement saying, “Governor Ron DeSantis has implemented a data-driven and thoughtful approach to keeping Florida families safe during these uncertain times. Now, it’s time to re-open. He’s taking a measured approach to re-opening our state and getting people back to work while considering the health and wellness of those who are vulnerable. We’re grateful to have had a seat at the table, and I look forward to working with him in the coming months.”
For the past eight weeks, Tampa General Hospital has provided essential life-saving care to COVID-19 positive and non-COVID infected patients. Now, TGH is ready to offer the same level of medical expertise to patients seeking elective surgeries and procedures; all with the highest level of patient and physician safety in place.
Ongoing safety measures include:
• Access to Tampa General Hospital remains limited so everyone who enters has their temperature taken and is screened for known COVID-19 symptoms.
• All new patients scheduled for surgery and other specific procedures are tested for COVID-19 48 hours before their procedure. Tampa General Hospital offers testing at the main campus and three TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track locations across Hillsborough County. Using in-house testing allows for quicker turnaround of results.
• All existing and new patients began receiving surveillance swab testing to identify potential asymptomatic carriage of COVID-19.
• Patients being treated for COVID-19 are isolated in a negative-pressure unit that is separate from other areas of the hospital.
• All visitors are restricted from entering the hospital, except for Pediatric cases and laboring mothers. Please visit the TGH website at tgh.org for real-time updates.
• All patients, team members, and physicians are required to wear a mask as a precaution.
• TGH has strict infection prevention protocols in place, including the use of UV disinfection (Tru-D technology) to clean all rooms where infectious disease patients are treated, including COVID-19 patients.
• All clinical teams are adhering to the infection prevention method of donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
In anticipation of questions regarding COVID-19 or specific procedures, Tampa General Hospital has opened a TGH Helpline. People can call to ask questions about COVID-19 and safety measures in place at the hospital or inquire about their upcoming surgeries and procedures. That number is 813-844-8084.
Tampa General Hospital wants everyone to make their health a priority, but understands the financial challenges caused by this pandemic. For patients who have had their surgeries or procedures rescheduled, TGH is working to update authorizations or resubmit them entirely to prevent payment authorization issues. For any patient concerned about out of pocket expenses, please contact TGH Financial Assistance at 813-844-8084 for the latest information on specific cost sharing estimates and payment options.
As we enter this “new normal” together, Tampa General Hospital wants to assure the community that one thing has not changed: the health and safety of our patients, team members and physicians, has and always will be, our number one priority.
ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1007-bed non-profit academic medical center, delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to an 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 14 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Care and 15 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in Florida, Tampa General Hospital is first in the state to open a command center in partnership with GE Healthcare. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.