COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

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Patient Care and Surgery Changes

Prioritizing Patient Care Resources

This page will continue to be updated as access to elective surgeries, procedures and imaging services changes.

Changes To Be Aware Of

OhioHealth is canceling elective surgeries, imaging and mammograms until further notice.

OhioHealth locations and non-COVID-19-related patient care services are subject to changes in operating hours, service availability, activity cancellations, and closures. Learn more.

Elective surgery and procedure FAQ

Q. Are all elective procedures being canceled at OhioHealth?
A. All surgeries, procedures and outpatient imaging screenings that are considered elective are being canceled.

  • Elective surgeries and procedures are those that have been scheduled in advance because they do not involve a medical emergency.
  • Elective outpatient imaging includes screenings such as screening mammograms, bone density scans, low-dose CT scans and fluoroscopy.

OhioHealth will continue with emergency surgeries and previously scheduled surgeries that meet the following guidelines:

  • There is a threat to patient life if the surgery is not performed.
  • There is a threat of permanent dysfunction of the patient's extremity or organ system.
  • There is risk of metastasis or progression of staging.
  • There is risk of rapidly worsening severe symptoms that are time-sensitive.

Any patient in an active treatment plan where imaging plays a necessary role will continue. This would include oncology and nonelective surgical patients.

  • Any acute imaging that can prevent an emergency department visit will continue. Examples would include abdominal pain (for example, to rule out appendicitis), chest pain (for example, to rule out pulmonary embolism), and acute orthopedic trauma.
  • Outpatient imaging may be consolidated to specific care sites. Details regarding specific site operations and canceling or rescheduling procedures will be provided to affected patients.

Q. Why is OhioHealth canceling elective surgeries and procedures?
A. The health and safety of all of our patients is our priority. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has created an unprecedented situation for healthcare providers across the nation. We must take drastic action to ensure we protect the health of current patients and ensure appropriate care for future patients.

We understand the widespread implications of canceling elective surgeries and procedures, and believe it is the right thing to do to protect our community. Canceling elective surgeries and procedures will:

  • Put patient health and safety at the center of what we do.
  • Preserve personal protective equipment, such as masks, gowns and gloves needed to help the fight against COVID-19.
  • Preserve blood supply.
  • Preserve beds in Intensive Care Units. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 can require up to 14 days of ICU care.
  • Protect our associates by limiting exposure.
  • Ultimately prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Q. When will elective surgeries and procedures be rescheduled?
A. All canceled surgeries and procedures will be rescheduled, although we are not rescheduling immediately. The COVID-19 situation is changing quickly, and the need to preserve personal protective equipment and other medical resources could continue for some time. We anticipate a delay of at least two to three months. We have a group of OhioHealth physician leaders designated to making decisions related to rescheduling as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Q. Who made this decision?
A. This decision to cancel elective surgeries was influenced by the recommendations of the American Hospital Association and the Ohio Hospital Association regarding elective surgeries in response to COVID-19. OhioHealth executive leadership and OhioHealth surgical executive leadership, representing all OhioHealth care sites, collectively support this decision. The decision to cancel elective imaging screenings is in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American College of Radiology (ACR) recommendations.

Q. Does this affect elective surgeries and procedures at all OhioHealth locations?
A. Yes. This change includes all elective surgeries and procedures at OhioHealth, including those scheduled at OhioHealth hospitals and ambulatory locations.

Q. Does cancellation include elective endoscopic procedures?
A. Yes. Elective endoscopic procedures, commonly called scopes, will adhere to the same guidelines as other elective surgeries.

Q. Does cancellation include previously scheduled imaging services?
A. Cancellation includes any imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs or ultrasounds that were scheduled as part of the elective surgery or procedure.

Q. Are other health systems canceling elective surgeries?
A. The U.S. Surgeon General, American College of Surgeons and numerous other public health experts have recommended the suspension of all elective surgeries. We anticipate other health systems will follow suit, as we also anticipate a governing order from the state level.

Q. How are surgery patients being informed?
A. Patients who will have their surgery canceled will be contacted by their provider.

Q. What do patients need to know if their surgery will not be canceled?
A. Patients whose procedures will not be canceled should be aware of OhioHealth’s new visitor restrictions.

Q. How can patients get more information?
A. If patients have questions about their condition, medication or other healthcare needs, they should contact their primary care provider or referring physician.