To Our Patients:
Governor Ducey recently announced a new order allowing some elective surgeries to resume in May. ACS is working with the local hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to comply with the guidelines provided by Governor Ducey’s office. Screening criteria will need to be met to ensure your safety and the safety of the healthcare staff performing elective surgical procedures. Although this may begin on May 1st, discussions with local hospitals indicates that this will likely resume on a limited basis on or around the 2nd week in May. It is not anticipated that surgery will resume in a ‘normal’ fashion until much later this summer.
Under the new order, hospitals and other health facilities can resume conducting elective surgeries in May if they can show they have implemented measures intended to keep both health care workers and patients safe. These include:
- Demonstrating greater than a 14 day supply of Personal Protective Equipment;
- Ensuring adequate staffing and beds;
- Testing patients prior to surgery and all at-risk health care workers;
- Ensuring appropriate discharge plans for patients being transferred to nursing care facilities, including diagnostic testing for COVID-19;
- Implementing a universal symptom screening process for staff, patients, and visitors;
- Establishing an enhanced cleaning process for waiting areas;
- And prioritizing the restart of elective surgeries based on urgency.
Facilities that meet the specified standards will need to receive approval from the Department of Health Services before resuming elective surgeries. The order shall be considered for repeal or revision every two weeks.
Currently, the biggest barrier to resuming elective surgery is the very limited availability of Covid 19 testing, and the time it takes to get results back. This hurdle will require resolution before surgery can resume safely, and at ‘normal’ levels.
Arizona Community Surgeons staff and providers will work with you to assess risk factors, safety concern(s) and your comfort level in order to determine when your surgical care may occur.
Please contact us if you need assistance.