Northern Health to resume surgeries postponed by COVID-19
Northern Health is preparing to resume elective surgeries postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is implementing new rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
Yesterday, the health authority began contacting patients to book procedures, or at least see if they're ready to move forward with surgery.
Patients needing urgent, emergent or oncology-related surgeries will continue to be prioritized.
To minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 among patients and staff, consistent screening tools and risk assessment guidelines will be used, patients will be assessed at least one day prior to surgery and operations will be scheduled with time to accomodate additional cleaning and infection control measures.
Northern Health is also implementing plans for telephone pre-admission screening of surgical patients, where available, to reduce the need for patients to come to the hospital for in-person visits before their surgeries.
=== NEWS RELEASE BELOW ===
Surgery pre-admission changes to keep patients safe
Northern Health is resuming elective surgeries that were postponed due to COVID-19, and we are committed to helping keep patients, medical staff and support staff safe.
NH is implementing plans for telephone pre-admission screening of surgical patients, where available. This new model of care will reduce the need for patients to come to the hospital for in-person visits before their surgeries, and will include telephone assessments, and consultations.
Northern Health is resuming elective surgeries which were postponed to ensure capacity in our hospitals to support patients with COVID-19. While the pandemic continues to evolve, we are actively working to safely resume elective surgeries while continuing to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Starting today, Northern Health will begin to contact patients to book procedures and/or to confirm if they are willing and able to move forward with surgery. We recognize that some individuals may wish to continue to postpone their surgery at this time.
Patients who require urgent, emergent and oncology-related surgeries will continue to be prioritized.
To minimize transmission of COVID-19 for patients, staff and medical staff, a number of measures will be implemented as part of the surgical process:
When possible, patients will be assessed through a telephone call prior to surgery
Consistent screening tools and risk assessment guidelines will be used
Patients will be assessed 24-72 hours prior to surgery and arrival the day of surgery
Surgeries will be scheduled with time to accommodate additional cleaning and infection control measures.
Patients will be rescheduled based on priority determined by their surgeon.
To provide surgeries to patients as quickly as possible, Northern Health will be back to full surgical capacity as soon as we can and, where possible, will expand surgical capacity over the coming months. This plan is dependent on several factors such as adequate supply of personal protective equipment, full commitment of all partners, and monitoring of any possible fall/winter resurgence of COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit Northern Health’s Coronavirus information (COVID-19) web page.