surgeon holding hand of patient before surgery

COVID-19: Elective Surgery Updates

This blog addresses questions regarding elective surgeries and procedures. We will continue to follow guidelines provided by the state, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Surgeon General. As the safety of patients and caregivers is our highest priority, precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing and the COVID-19 surge potential is being monitored daily by our experts.

1. What is being done at Community Health Network to ensure the safety and security of patients and caregivers?

During elective surgery, your safety and security is our first priority. We must ensure patients who are already in the hospital, and caregivers, are not negatively impacted during elective procedures.

2. How is Community Health Network prioritizing surgeries and procedures?

Physicians prioritize patient needs to assure those needing urgent/emergent care will be seen sooner. The highest priority are patients who have increased risk if required to wait for their procedure, such as cancer and cardiovascular patients. The next priority level is patients who need an elective surgery or procedure that is not time sensitive.

We continue to care for patients with urgent/emergent needs. Safeguards and protocols are in place to ensure patient and caregiver safety. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

3. How do I get on the schedule?

Your surgeon’s office and the hospital work together to prioritize patient scheduling. Your provider's office will contact you directly to schedule your procedure. If you have questions or would like to reschedule a procedure, please contact your provider.

4. Can I wear my own mask into a Community facility?

Patients should wear barrier masks from home upon arrival to the facility. Upon entry, the cloth/barrier mask must be replaced with an approved isolation/procedural/surgical mask provided by Community representatives. A mask must be worn at all times while in the facility.

5. What testing should I expect prior to my surgery/procedure?

Patients will be phone screened by front office staff before their appointment, followed by a hospital screening upon arrival. In some cases, patients will be asked to self-isolate for 10-14 days prior to a procedure and possibly tested for COVID-19 prior to the date of their procedure.

6. Can a family member accompany me to the hospital or surgery center for my procedure?

As of November 25, 2020, patient escorts are permitted to assist only with entering and exiting the building and with receiving education. In the case of a minor patient only, a parent/guardian may accompany the minor inside and wait during the procedure.

7. Will I be spending time in a waiting room before my procedure?

Our team is making accommodations to maximize social distancing in waiting rooms and shared areas. In most cases, patients will be escorted from registration and delivered to the pre-op procedure room. When waiting is required, we are using rigorous cleaning protocols and increasing space between seats to keep everyone at a safe distance.