Hospital plans to resume some non-emergent, elective procedures

Hospital plans to resume some non-emergent, elective procedures

On April 14, Gov. Kate Brown announced a public health framework for restarting public life and business in Oregon. This plan outlines the necessary tasks, steps, and guidelines for step-by-step reopening. Among those important tasks is a look at how and when to resume non-emergent and elective procedures requiring personal protective equipment (PPE), which were cancelled as a result of Gov. Brown’s Executive Order No. 20-10.

On April 23, Gov. Brown announced that non-emergent and elective procedures can resume Friday, May 1, if the following steps and specific criteria are met:

• Reports of new COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations are steadily declining.

• Capacity at the hospital (i.e., bed capacity and healthcare workforce) can accommodate an increase in COVID-19 and post-procedure hospitalizations and other ongoing needs for hospital-level care.

• Facility has adequate PPE supplies on hand.

• Facility has access to adequate testing capacity.

• Facility is following strict infection-control and visitation policies.

• Necessary resources for perioperative (before and after surgery) care are available.

Once non-emergent and elective procedures resume, they must start slowly, and criteria should be reassessed biweekly.

“We feel that we are on pretty solid ground with each of these criteria,” Harney District Hospital (HDH) Chief Executive Officer Dan Grigg said.

Grigg added that, “Until now, having enough tests has been one of our biggest challenges. However, we are expecting a shipment this week and have been told that the supplier is doubling production. The supply chain appears to be opening up.”

HDH Surgery Manager Dan Winn is beginning to work with the hospital’s surgeons, staff, and patients to begin scheduling surgeries again. HDH will follow the guidelines laid out by the governor and ensure that procedures are phased in over time.

HDH is also prepared to slow down procedures if a COVID-19 surge occurs.

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