Acting on Gov. Mike DeWine’s guidance, Adena Health System will begin a cautious, thoughtful return to giving patients access to some surgeries and procedures in a safe, clean environment. On May 6, Adena will begin a slow ramp up of ambulatory surgeries, in-office procedures, diagnostic testing and diagnostic imaging that do not require an overnight hospital stay.
Since the state’s March 2020 order that restricted all nonessential surgeries and procedures, Adena physicians and providers have only performed these operations to avoid risk of life, permanent dysfunction, progression of disease, or rapidly worsening symptoms. Through the pandemic, some surgeries and procedures that did not meet these criteria were postponed.
“Our patients have been waiting to take care of non-emergent aspects of their health that may be of concern, or creating discomfort for them,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “We are ready to move forward in restarting some surgeries and procedures to care for the health needs of our patients and communities. Using an abundance of caution to protect patients and caregivers, our work teams have developed plans and processes to allow us to slowly and safely resume these procedures.”
The restart of ambulatory surgeries and procedure will begin at half of Adena’s normal capacity. This will limit the number of people in the buildings at any given time. Systemwide allowances are also being made for appropriate social distancing in all facilities, which includes the re-engineering of common and waiting areas, and placing barriers in places where 6-foot spacing may not be possible.
“Aside from home, I can assure everyone in our communities that Adena’s hospitals and facilities are among the safest places anyone could be at this time,” Graham said. “Regardless of the pandemic, it is important for all of us to take care of our general health. While we continue to live with COVID-19, we cannot neglect our health and wellbeing out of fear. Adena is safe and we will continue to incorporate measures to keep our patients, staff and communities safe and healthy.”
Adena has worked to protect patients and staff by implementing the following protective measures implemented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:
· Opened a COVID-19 screening hotline and COVID-19 testing center to identify those suspected of being infected with Coronavirus;
· Created a COVID cohort unit to isolate infected patients from non-COVID;
· Began virtual visits between patients and their provider using at-home technology;
· Started drive-up lab services for blood collection;
· COVID-19 verbal and temperature screenings for anyone entering an Adena facility;
· Visitor restrictions to limit people within hospitals and clinics, with very few exceptions;
· Having some employees work from home to reduce the number of people inside facilities;
· Closing areas that attract group gatherings to allow for social distancing;
· Enhancing cleaning methods and schedules; and
· Requiring all staff, patients and visitors to wear masks in all facilities.
Virtual visits will continue for patients who are able to take care of general health from home using a computer or phone to connect with their provider. When a patient is unable to have a virtual visit, or needs to come in to a clinic or hospital, they will receive instructions on where to park and enter the building to get a temperature screening and mask before proceeding to the clinic or hospital department.
Patients can expect to hear from their provider’s staff, which will be reaching out to reschedule those procedures that were postponed due to the shutdown of procedures in mid March. Patients may also call their provider to make arrangements to reschedule, or to schedule a new appointment for a health concern or need.
Submitted by Maria K. Smith, Adena Health System.