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Orlando Health Connects Internatioal Patients

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Orlando Health is connecting international hospital patients with their home countries.

In the wake of the Pulse shooting, several countries contacted the hospital to see if any of their residents were injured and needed help.

Making the connection was especially challenging in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. “At the time, we had no way of tracking that or being able to deal with that,” says Eric Alberts, Orlando Health’s Corporate Manager of Emergency Preparedness. “During an extensive after-action review of our response to the Pulse tragedy, this issue rose to the top as one that needed our immediate attention.”

Orlando Health worked to streamline the process by including a questionnaire when patients arrive and proved them with contact details of their consulote or offering to connect them. With the patient’s consent, their nationality will be included in their medical record

John Corfield, Orlando’s Health Emergency Preparedness Specialist says this will help patients during an emergency.“They are from a foreign county so they are dealing with a potentially unfamiliar system, there are a lot of culture differences, there’s also a lot of language barriers.”

Since the pilot program was started in September, 4,400 patients were connected with their home county’s consulate. Haitian, Brazilian and Venezuelan nationals topped the list of patients using the program.