Glens Falls Hospital has been granted a waiver to resume what are known as elective outpatient surgeries and procedures. In order to qualify, the hospital had to show that it has a detailed plan in place to resume these surgeries and procedures, and that explicit measures have been taken to insure a potential surge in COVID-19 patients can be handled. The hospital has a plan in place to “surge” as needed by 54% in capacity and beds.
“This is great news for the community as well as the hospital,” said GFH CEO Dianne Shugrue. “A planned procedure does not mean it is not medically urgent – these are patients who need a painful joint repaired, a diagnostic cardiac procedure, a gallbladder surgery, and many other surgeries and procedures that are important to the health of our patients.”
All patients scheduled for planned outpatient surgeries and procedures must be tested for COVID-19 and can only receive their planned care if the test is negative. And they must quarantine before and after their procedure. The hospital has developed guides for all patients who will be undergoing a scheduled surgical or outpatient procedure. All COVID-19 inpatients are cohorted away from the outpatient procedure areas. Should a procedure require a longer stay due to complications of any kind, the hospital has a wing sterilized and ready that has not been used for any sick patients.
“We also want to emphasize that we are well prepared to handle emergency cases, “ said Hospital CEO Dianne Shugrue. “If you have chest pains or you are injured – what ever the reason you think you should seek emergency care – we are open, we are taking every precaution to keep you safe, and keep our staff safe.”
The hospital will begin offering procedures immediately, with a goal of ramping up capacity as fast as is safe and prudent, beginning with simpler procedures and adding more complex procedures as the process evolves.. As capacity increases and the number of cases increases, furloughed staff will be brought back as needed.