Area hospitals are looking at re opening for elective surgeries even as the general rule for social distancing continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Baylor, Scott and White, Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center and Texoma Medical Center have all began to make arrangements to allow the start of elective surgeries.
Baylor Scott and White Health Spokesperson Matt Olivolo the safety and well being of its patients and caregivers has been the hospital's concern throughout this pandemic.
"We have been working to develop plans in compliance with Gov. Abbott’s new orders, ensuring we do all we can to appropriately balance the needs of our communities,“ he said. ”We must, of course, remain prepared for influxes of COVID-19 patients; meanwhile, we know there are thousands of Texans who have been forced to delay medical and surgical services for weeks. We are confident we can safely care for patients who meet the criteria set forth in the executive order, while maintaining capacity and adequate supply of personal protective equipment. And we will continue to evaluate this balance daily."
He added that BSW has already started directly contacting patients to reschedule procedures and surgeries. He also urges patients who have any questions to call their provider.
,“Hospital leadership at Texoma Medical Center has been working to acquire an adequate amount of PPE to safely perform elective cases without depleting our supply,” TMC Chief Executive Officer Ron Seal said. “Additionally, TMC has the appropriate bed capacity to restart surgical procedures. We want the public to know that we are continuing to take the necessary precautions to ensure that we are protecting our staff, providers, and patients. Fortunately, TMC has not been impacted by COVID-19 as significantly as other healthcare facilities in communities across the nation.”
Seal also said all COVID-19 patients being treated at Texoma Medical Center are cared for on a dedicated unit under strict isolation precautions and in negative pressure rooms.
Patients undergoing elective surgical procedures will have their surgery performed and will recover in patient care areas that are not designated for COVID-19. Any patient admitted to TMC for medical reasons will not be placed in a designated COVID-19 unit.
“I want to reassure the community that we have the ability to care for their medical, surgical and emergent needs in the same safe environment that we provided prior to the pandemic,” said Seal.
TMC will continue screenings at all facility entrances, and will keep current visitation guidelines in effect until no longer deemed necessary.
So will Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center.
WNJ Chief Nursing Officer Mandy Dick said the hospital will resume urgent emergent surgiers with those cases that are most medically necessary at this time. She said guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will stay in place.
She said they will not be resuming surgeries that would cause the patient to actually be admitted for a stay in the hospital.
"We want to do this slowly to make sure that we are keeping our patients, our staff and everyone safe." She said she thinks that the precautions against the transfer of viruses like COVID-19 is here to stay so some of the changes put in place to help with that are probably here to stay.
She said the return to some elective surgeries has allowed the hospital to bring back some furloughed employees and she hopes to see that trend continue in the near future.