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Elective Surgeries to Resume in June at Memorial Hospital

Published on May 21, 2020

MCHI surgical staff resume elective surgeries first of June 2020Memorial Community Health is pleased to announce that the Memorial Hospital Wortman Surgery Center will be resuming elective surgeries and procedures the beginning of June.

Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and guidelines provided by the CDC and local public health organizations, the surgery center ceased elective surgeries in late March, only allowing emergency procedures as needed.

"We are pleased to be offering elective surgeries and procedures again for patients," commented MCHI's recently appointed surgery supervisor Ruth Simmons, RN, BSN. "It's a decision that was made in consultation with administration, our board of directors, our providers and surgical care team. We have the green light and have all the safety and precautionary processes and procedures in place to protect patients as well as surgical staff while providing the important procedures that patients have been awaiting for quite some time."

Resuming surgeries at Memorial Hospital is being done in accordance with recommendations and guidelines provided by the Joint Statement of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, and the American Hospital Association.

In late April, Governor Ricketts announced that hospitals and healthcare systems in Nebraska could resume elective surgeries starting May 4th as long as they met specific requirements for available bed capacity and had adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). "In our case, we decided to not resume surgeries on May 4th as the number of COVID-19 cases in our health district were rising quickly at the time and we wanted to be prepared should a surge occur," commented Memorial Community Health's CEO Diane Keller. "Now that the percentage of new cases in our district is on the decline, we feel comfortable in moving forward. The demand is there and we are ready to deliver the excellent care and services our patients need for screenings, surgeries, and procedures."

In making the decision to resume, it was important to consider Hamilton County's caseload of COVID-19, our facility's COVID-19 testing capabilities, supply of personal protective equipment, and the prioritization of patients who had their surgeries postponed due to the pandemic. "We feel confident in our ability to be able to provide safe patient care," said Simmons. "Our entire organization has worked tirelessly to stay up-to-date and follow the latest national recommendations, and patients should be comfortable in knowing that we are prepared and are keeping their health and safety a top priority."

"I couldn't be more proud of our staff for implementing and following the vast array of precautionary measures we have taken during this unprecedented time," says Keller. "We are also pleased to welcome back many of our specialty clinic providers who have not been onsite since the pandemic began. In addition to our family medicine providers, the specialists who come to our facility to serve our local communities are important in providing comprehensive care close to home."

Important points to know if you are scheduled for surgery at Memorial Hospital:

• When your surgery is scheduled, a staff member will pre-screen you and provide you with the necessary education and guidelines to keep you and our staff as safe as possible.
• Due to COVID-19 precautions, no visitors are allowed in our facilities and clinics. In limited circumstances, one support person may be allowed to accompany each patient at the discretion of the care team. Both the patient and support person will be screened upon arrival at the admissions door for symptoms and will be given a mask for the duration of their stay.
• The appropriate personal protective equipment will be worn in order to best protect you as well as our staff.

Universal safety precautions being taken throughout MCHI's healthcare system:
• All patients and staff are screened for symptoms at all entrances, including temperature checks.
• All employees and patients are wearing masks.
• Social distancing has been implemented through rearranged waiting areas and staggered appointment times.
• Enhanced cleaning and frequency of cleaning is being done, especially for high-touch spaces.