Lutheran Health Network Resumes Some Outpatient Surgeries and Elective Procedures on April 27
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (April 27, 2020) – Patients who have delayed surgery or other non-emergency procedures can now work with their physician to secure care as Lutheran Health Network resumes some outpatient elective services, effective April 27.
Lutheran Health Network is following Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order allowing some elective surgeries and procedures in hospitals with a low or no-COVID-19 census. As always, safety remains the highest priority.
Numerous precautions for infection prevention, access control, social distancing and patient flow are in place to maintain a safe environment of care. Everyone who enters the building, including staff, is screened, and all employees, physicians and patients are expected to wear masks. The daily number of procedures performed is being limited and furniture in waiting areas has been spaced to maintain appropriate social distancing. Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and caregiving spaces has been intensified. Visitor restrictions for inpatients remain in effect, with exceptions for laboring mothers, pediatric patients and end-of-life situations.
“As we reopen elective procedures, our physicians and caregivers are working diligently to keep every patient safe,” said Vishal Bhatia, M.D., Chief Medical Officer. “It is important to reschedule healthcare procedures that have been delayed so health conditions do not deteriorate. We also want to remind everyone that it is safe – and necessary – to seek immediate help in an emergency department for serious health emergencies like chest pain, heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening conditions.”
Non-COVID-19-care zones have been defined in the hospitals, where patients who are screened as negative for COVID-19 will receive care from dedicated staff. If, at any time, we are caring for COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital, those patients are grouped together in the same unit away from all other patients.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our patients’ and caregivers’ health and safety have been our primary concern,” said Mark Medley, FACHE, Regional President and CEO. “We are ramping up slowly to ensure safety for everyone. Patients can be assured that we are taking every precaution to protect them.”
The network continues to closely monitor its inventory of test kits, personal protective equipment, medications and other needed supplies to ensure sufficient resources to support the number of patients in care.
Telehealth will continue to be available for visits as needed. Clinic staff will be kept to a minimum to maintain appropriate social distancing. Appointments will be staggered and patients will come in one at a time to minimize wait times.
Lutheran Health Network’s plan to restart elective procedures at the appropriate time was made in consultation with the hospitals’ boards of trustees, medical executive committees and surgical leadership, following all local, state and federal guidelines.
For more information, please visit the latest news section at https://lutheranhealth.net/reactivation-statement.