Plan for Resuming Non-Emergency Procedures in Accordance with State, Local
Following newly released COVID-19 guidelines announced by state and local
health officials, St. Mary’s Medical Center is beginning to resume
most of its services this month, including elective surgeries and procedures.
Although things will look different at the hospital, all necessary precautions
are being put into place to keep patients and staff safe.
In addition, the hospital is urging those community members who have put
off seeking medical care for their urgent healthcare needs unrelated to
COVID-19 not to ignore their signs or symptoms due to fear and uncertainty
about the hospital’s safety.
“Our community members can rest assured knowing we have implemented
numerous additional protocols to ensure the health and safety of our patients,
visitors and clinical teams,” says Drew Grossman, CEO. “We
are here to take care of our community and are well-equipped to handle
any health concerns they may have. They can move forward with peace of
mind in scheduling appointments or visiting our emergency room.”
Furthermore, its routine rigorous standards for sanitation and prevention
earned the hospital an “A” rating in recent Leapfrog scores,
for the fifth time in a row. St. Mary’s Medical Center is also following
new guidelines established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the
American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association
of Perioperative Registered Nurses and the American Hospital Association.
A committee of physicians and other clinical leaders at the hospital was
formed to ensure safe resumption of essential health care services, including
non-emergency surgeries and procedures.
“We are committed to implementing best practices and will do everything
we can to keep our patients and community safe,” Grossman says.
“The hospital will carefully monitor the coronavirus’s ongoing
impact to the community, and maintain our ability to properly respond
to it while also serving other patients with the essential care they need.”
The hospital’s enhanced precautions to ensure a safe environment
for health care delivery include:
- All patients and visitors must pass through a hospital screening station
where temperatures are taken prior to entering the building.
COVID-19 patients are isolated from non-COVID-19 patients. All patients are tested for COVID-19 prior to any elective surgery.
- Non-COVID-19 patients, as well as those receiving outpatient care, or patients
with scheduled procedures, are treated in separate areas and are assigned
caregivers who are not concurrently caring for COVID-19 positive patients.
- Updated visitor policies, including limitations, remain in place. Surgery
patients are allowed one visitor to the hospital to accompany them to
the waiting area.
- Universal masking is required throughout the facility which exceeds CDC
guidelines. The hospital continues to have adequate supply of personal
protective equipment (PPE) for patients, visitors, clinicians and caregivers.
- Heightened infection prevention policies have been instituted, including
removal of high-touch items such as magazines have been removed from the
- Technology-enabled solutions that minimize patients’ time in facility
waiting areas are being advanced.
- Collaboration with major commercial lab companies to increase testing onsite
“We have been thoughtful and deliberate in carefully preparing for
the re-opening of many postponed services,” Grossman adds. “St.
Mary’s Medical Center has maintained historically strict standards
for infectious diseases while following updated guidance from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we will continue to do so
to ensure the safety of all.”
Grossman adds that everyone should continue to follow current CDC guidance
regarding social distancing and hand hygiene.
“As we re-open our cities and work to establish a new normal routine,
I especially want to thank our community leaders for their guidance during
this unprecedented challenge and for standing with St. Mary’s Medical
Center in our shared commitment to protecting our health and safety, today
and every day.”