As the statewide numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continue to decline, New York State has permitted hospitals that have the capacity and resources to resume elective procedures in regions without significant risk of a COVID-19 surge. Over the past few weeks, multiple departments within MVHS have been working diligently to put together a plan to safely resume elective surgeries and procedures in accordance with direction from the Governor and New York State Department of Health.
MVHS has put extensive measures in place to ensure the safety of those coming in for elective surgeries and procedures as well as anyone who enters the facilities. These measures include:
- A new and private pathway for surgery/procedure patients which includes a private entrance and escort directly to the patient’s room. These patients will be screened and have their temperatures taken at the door and will then be taken directly to their room for registration.
- All patients will be tested for COVID-19 at the MVHS drive-through testing site on Burrstone Road no more than three days prior to surgery. These tests will be sent to the Mayo Clinic with results coming back in 24 to 48 hours. If for some reason the results are not available prior to surgery, rapid testing is available (but in limited supply).
- Per NYS guidelines, MVHS has a no visitor policy in place throughout the system to protect patients, residents and staff from COVID-19. Surgery staff will call a patient’s point of contact prior to and after surgery to give an update. Also, patients will be able to video chat or call loved ones once they are cleared to do so after surgery.
- Thoroughly cleaned and disinfected patient pathway through all surgical and procedure areas. These areas have been “blitz-cleaned,” which means everything in the room, from floor to ceiling to medical equipment – everything – has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This process includes four distinct parts: education on best practices through our association with Crothall, specific cleaning and testing equipment, the best in class cleaning solutions and special training of the environmental staff charged with cleaning these areas.
- Using dedicated staff for these areas to ensure staff members haven’t also taken care of suspected or positive COVID-19 patients.
- All employees, medical staff members and patients are screened at the entrances of our facilities and given a mask to wear. Wearing a mask protects the patient and their caregivers. We are very focused on making sure all personal protective equipment (PPE, as you may have heard about) is used appropriately for everyone’s protection.