surgeon holding hand of patient before surgery

COVID-19: Elective Surgery Updates

Elective surgery will begin to resume on a limited basis and we would like to address questions that may arise. 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?

As we start to reopen 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 by restarting elective procedures. Therefore, we are starting slow, prioritizing urgent and emergent cases first.

2. Why was my procedure postponed?

In accordance with direction issued by Governor Eric Holcomb on Monday, March 16, Community Health Network hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers postponed elective and non-urgent surgical procedures. Safety of patients is our highest priority. Postponing elective procedures allowed us to maximize social distancing.

3. How is Community Health Network prioritizing postponed surgeries and procedures for rescheduling?

Physicians are prioritizing patient needs to assure those needing urgent/emergent care will be seen sooner. This will likely start with patients who have already waited 60 days but have increased risk if required to wait longer, such as cancer and cardiovascular patients.

This group will be followed by patients who need an elective surgery or procedure that is not time sensitive.

We have continued 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.

4. How will I get back on the schedule? Do I call or is the office calling me?

At this time your surgeon’s office and hospital are working together to prioritize patient scheduling. When your procedure is available for rescheduling, the office will contact you directly to get you on the schedule.

5. Can I wear my homemade barrier mask into a Community Health Network facility?

Patients are encouraged to wear a mask from home, if available. Patients are given a mask by our screeners if they do not have one when entering the facility. Patients and staff are expected to wear a mask once in the facility.

6. 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 operation.

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

For adult patients: If an escort is required by family member, patients are checked in at Registration and the family member will be asked to wait in the car until the patient is ready to be picked up. The Registration team will escort the patient to where they need to go.

For dependent patients (children or dependent adults): One guardian is allowed to remain in the facility with the patient for the duration of the procedure. In these situations, the visitor/guardian will also be screened at the entrance.

8. 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.