Systemwide, across its eight hospitals, physician offices, and other provider and outpatient locations, Baptist Health has passed the 100,000 mark in testing for COVID-19, having conducted 102,013 tests as of July 31. In Kentucky, 91,384 tests were performed, with an additional 10,629 tests in southern Indiana. The number compares to 621,206 tests conducted throughout Kentucky (as of July 30), as reported by the Kentucky Department for Public Health, making Baptist Health’s percentage of testing across the Commonwealth nearly 15 percent.
“Testing has been, and continues to be a challenge since the early days of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Gerard Colman, Baptist Health system CEO, “But throughout, Baptist has used all of the resources at our disposal to help address the issue of testing across all of the areas we are privileged to serve. Testing allows us to identify patients with COVID-19, a crucial step in keeping them, and our caregivers, safe.
“We have been using CDC guidance to ensure responsible testing of our employees and patients to ensure these critical tests are available for those who need them most. We are blessed as a statewide system to be able to send resources to those areas experiencing the highest number of cases so we ensure our dedicated frontline caregivers have the equipment they need to control spread and treat those patients who are affected by the virus,” Colman added.
“To ensure employee and patient safety, Baptist Health has worked every avenue at our disposal to procure testing from numerous vendors across the country, while carefully vetting the quality to deliver consistent, accurate results for those in our care,” said Debbie Taffer, System Executive Director of Laboratory Services.
As community exposures have become more widespread, testing has been a critical tool for those exhibiting symptoms to be evaluated, treated appropriately in the right setting, and quarantined, if indicated, resulting both in the patient getting the right treatment, as well limiting any additional exposures.
Baptist Health led in testing throughout our communities from the start of the pandemic in both our hospitals, as well as our outpatient settings. Since opening testing centers in multiple Urgent Care Centers across Baptist Health’s service area in Kentucky and Southern Indiana on March 16, more than 20,000 tests have been conducted for employees and community members alike. In addition, testing further ramped up in mid-May as patients who had delayed procedures began to reschedule.
As employers across our region face similar challenges in getting employees back to work, Baptist Health is offering its experience and expertise along with customized COVID-19 testing solutions and a digital screening tool to employers. For employers who partner with Baptist Health, customized testing solutions and support can be developed – helping to ensure the safest workplace possible for those who trust their care to Baptist Health.
“While one death from COVID-19 is too many, and one community member sickened by COVID-19 is more than we would ever hope for, the fruit of our labor has been the number of patients who have returned home to family members and friends after receiving treatment in our hospitals: 766 since March 10,” said Colman. “As we continue striving to discover this virus sooner and care for patients earlier in their diagnoses, we are grateful for the efforts of our healthcare workers who continue looking for the best resources to fight this disease.”
Baptist Health Urgent Care sites throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana are evaluating individuals who meet the screening criteria for COVID-19 and also have symptoms including a recent onset of cough, fever, shortness of breath or recent loss of taste or smell.
For more information, visit BaptistHealth.com/COVID-19.