May 28, 2020
Elective procedures have started to resume across SolutionHealth following Governor Sununu’s announcement on May 4. Since then, both Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health System have completed hundreds of time-sensitive procedures.
EHS is performing cases such as total knee and hip replacements, urologic surgery, GYN procedures, and general surgery cases.
“We are focusing on cases that have an anticipated hospital stay of 32 hours or less primarily,” Beverly Primeau, Vice President of Surgical and Procedural Services at EHS said.
Elliot One Day is performing all tiers of cases within assigned surgical blocks.
SNHH is performing surgeries and procedures for patients with pain or disease management issues. There, medical providers have requested that every patient be tested for COVID-19 prior to a procedure or surgery. “Patients have responded positively to being tested prior to their procedure,” Elizabeth Armstrong, Vice President of Surgical and Acute Care Services at SNHH explains.
At EHS in Manchester, providers have the option of testing their patients for COVID-19 ahead of the procedure. It can be at the request of the provider or the patient. Primeau says the hospital is postponing any non-emergent procedures on symptomatic patients. If the case is emergent, then the patient would be tested prior to a surgery or procedure.
During the emergency order, “we never stopped offering care for the types of procedures that could not be postponed or delayed without compromising a patient’s health further,” Primeau said. Both hospitals performed procedures and surgeries on urgent and emergent cases like cancers, fractures, infections, trauma, and acute care. “Patients’ whose symptoms worsen, or their condition or quality of life was deteriorating as a result of not having a procedure or surgery did not have their care delayed,” Armstrong explains.
If there is an uptick in COVID-19 cases, both hospitals are prepared to adjust. Primeau and Armstrong say they are monitoring the hospital’s capacity and COVID-19 volumes daily. “If we reach the point where we don’t have the capacity to admit surgical patients due to COVID-19, we would ramp our surgical services back down to time-sensitive cases only,” Primeau said.
“We’ve been fortunate in Nashua that our hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have been low. We have bed capacity and we have a satisfactory amount of testing capability as well as personal protective equipment (PPE). If any of those elements change – including an uptick in hospitalizations as they relate to COVID-19 cases – we would immediately shift whatever we needed to in the best interest of the patients, staff, and the community,” Armstrong explains. Primeau concurs and says this is true for Elliot Health System as well.
Did you delay treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Talk to your provider to see if now is the time to reschedule your procedures.