On March 13th, the American College of Surgeons recommended that hospitals consider postponing elective, non-urgent surgical procedures in an effort to prepare for the influx of COVID-19 patients. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services followed suit on March 17th. A move that naturally garnered praise from the AMA. AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, said “As hospitals and physician practices plan for anticipated surges of patients needing care for COVID-19 infections, health professionals must use their expertise to develop allocation policies that are fair and safeguard the welfare of patients. The CMS guidance offers needed flexibility to physicians by allowing them to consider the imperative of resource conservation, especially PPE.”
This is our new reality, albeit hopefully temporary. Clinicians around the globe must put off non-urgent procedures to protect resources that can be used to combat the surge of life-threatening COVID-19 cases. Moreover, clinicians must also limit exposure of healthy individuals to this infectious disease – and one obvious focal point is keeping non-infected, non-urgent patients out of hospital surgery suites.
Everyone’s efforts must be on containing this dangerous disease and providing the best care for those infected. This focus and the delay of all non-urgent surgeries has far reaching effects across hospitals around the world. We’ll be exploring these impacts, looking for data, advice and trends that can help our customers and all hospitals navigate the turbulent waters to come. As we examine the challenges to come, please let us know if there is a related topic that you’d like more information on and we’ll do our best to research it, sharing those findings here for everyone to use.
Together, we can lift each other up.
-Marcus Perez, EVP