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Hospital to resume elective, non-urgent surgeries, procedures

Clark Regional Medical Center will resume some elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures that were previously rescheduled because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bridget Foster, director of marketing and communications for the hospital and its parent company, LifePoint Health, made the announcement Wednesday in a news release.

The decision to reschedule procedures when clinically appropriate was made in accordance with federal and state guidance, and aimed to help preserve critical resources in the event of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the community, she said.

Today, current projections indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region, which means less strain on health care resources, the release said.

“Resuming these important services is an essential component of meeting our community’s health needs and advancing our mission of ‘Making Communities Healthier,’” William Haugh, interim chief executive officer of Clark Regional Medical Center, said in a statement. “As this work gradually gets underway in our hospital again, we remain committed to conserving critical supplies, being vigilant in our fight against COVID-19, and ensuring that our facility is a safe place for all patients, providers and employees.”

The decisions about which procedures can safely move forward will be made only after assessing a comprehensive pre-operative checklist and evaluating potential risks.

The hospital will initially focus on scheduling patients with more time-sensitive health needs, and those decisions will be made in partnership with the attending physician/surgeon/proceduralist. Patients who are scheduled and approved for procedures must meet specific requirements, including passing standard COVID-19 screenings. Surgical patients also will be asked to practice “safer at home” behaviors for seven days prior to their procedure to minimize potential exposure and undergo testing for COVID-19.

Patients awaiting information about their previously postponed procedure can expect to hear from their provider or provider’s office to discuss rescheduling at the appropriate time.

Clark Regional Medical Center will continue to screen and mask everyone who enters the facility and maintain a zero-visitor protocol for the foreseeable future. Some exceptions may apply, such as pediatric patients, obstetric patients and those receiving end-of-life care.

These measures have had a positive impact on ensuring a safe environment, and they also are aligned with the federal government’s guidelines, the release said. Also, the facility has implemented new processes and procedures to further protect the health of patients, providers and employees.

More information is available at ClarkRegional.org.

The news release reminds patients that if they are having a medical emergency, they should call 911 or go directly to the emergency room. If possible, they should tell the dispatch agent if their emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.