Frequently asked questions on scheduled surgeries
How did you decide to proceed with scheduling surgeries?
Our decision to proceed with scheduling surgeries and procedures will be determined by a number of factors, including monitoring the trajectory of the pandemic and guidance from both state health officials and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Visit our Resource Hub for the latest updates on the status of scheduled surgeries and procedures.
It is important to remember that elective, or scheduled, procedures are not the equivalent of “optional” procedures that can be delayed indefinitely – a better word for elective procedures is scheduled procedures. Sometimes, deferring important medical procedures can result in patients unnecessarily suffering at home, and later seeking care only when their conditions have become more serious.
How will my experience be different now compared to before COVID-19?
When surgeries and procedures resume, you will notice several important precautionary measures that have been implemented across our facilities, such as:
- Patients will be tested for COVID-19 at their surgeon's discretion prior to their surgery or procedure.
- Temperature checks are performed on our caregivers prior to entering our facilities.
- Screening processes are in place for all patients, visitors and caregivers before entering our facilities.
- Social (physical distancing) is required at all times by patients, visitors and caregivers.
- All our caregivers wear masks throughout our facility.
- Patients admitted after surgery or a procedure will be placed in an area where no one has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Heightened infection prevention policies are instituted, including the removal of high-touch items like magazines and toys.
- We are prohibiting food and drinks in clinical units to prevent the spread of illness.
- We have updated our visitor policies, which will remain in place for the duration of the pandemic.
- We continue to follow current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on hand hygiene and social distancing.
Is it safe to return to your facility? How can I be sure the room, the X-ray machine, the OR, the recovery room are safe?
Because we deal with infectious diseases on a daily basis, we are uniquely equipped to safely manage COVID-19. Enhanced cleaning measures, constant housekeeping, access to alcohol-based hand gel and regular sanitation are all part of our daily routines. We have also added universal protections like universal masking and comprehensive screening to ensure that our facilities are a safe care environment, and that all patients, visitors and staff are protected from exposure to infectious diseases like COVID-19.
How can I be confident my doctors and nurses don’t have coronavirus?
Staff and physicians are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and our clinical care team colleagues are not permitted to work if they are experiencing any respiratory symptoms. Universal masking is in place, and we are stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE) for all of our clinical teams.
Am I more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 at a healthcare facility than other locations?
Few settings outside one’s own home have as many protections in place to prevent exposure to COVID-19 as our facilities. Our protections ensure everyone inside the building has been screened, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are kept separate, and everyone is instructed to wear a mask and observe social distancing.
Will I be tested for COVID-19 before my procedure?
Patients will be tested at their surgeon's discretion prior to their surgery or procedure. Some procedures may require patients to be tested 72 hours prior. It can be performed at our facility, or through our facility’s drive-up testing if a patient qualifies.
Will my family be able to be with me? If so, will they be safe?
We continue to maintain every precaution when keeping our patients, visitors, caregivers, and communities safe. Please review our current Please review our current visitation policy.
We have taken additional strong measures to ensure the safety of all involved, including changes to our waiting areas and communal spaces. Station areas and tables are distanced six feet apart to allow for social distancing, and we have removed public coffee and water stations. Signs will be present to remind everyone to keep their masks on and respect social distancing requirements.
Will my recovery be different? Will I be more likely to catch COVID-19 after a medical procedure?
Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of surgery, including if there is increased risk of contracting COVID-19. It is important that you maintain all precautions the general public are asked to follow. As always, we are here to support you in your recovery, whatever the circumstances.
What if I’m experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please let your provider know immediately.
If your facilities continue to see an increase in COVID-19 patients, will you change your policies?
We are constantly evaluating our facilities’ resources, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and bed availability, and making adjustments to our approach if and when protocols need to evolve. We also are in continuous communication with local healthcare delivery systems, including state and local health officials, and those surgeons who have direct responsibility for their patients. We continue to follow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations as they evolve. Our facilities will accommodate procedures that physicians determine to be appropriate within those recommendations.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
Visit our Resource Hub for the latest updates on COVID-19. You can also find more information on the CDC’s website. We make every effort to ensure our own website is current, but given the nature of policy updates, it’s always best to call your facility to verify the most up to date information.
*We make every effort to ensure our website information remains up to date. As specific guidelines and policies continue to evolve, please call our facility at (727) 834-4000 for updated information or questions regarding scheduled surgeries.