Elective procedures now allowed under Gov. Pritzker’s modified order
As of 4.29.20
Submitted by IHA and Channel 20 News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — The modified stay at home order will be instituted on May 1st, which will allow medical facilities to perform elective procedures again as of May 11th. Governor Pritzker's order outlines the rules medical centers have to follow.
Dr. Ken Sagins, Chief Medical Officer at Springfield Clinic, said they're taking every precaution they can so everyone can get the care they need. Elective procedures are anything that isn't life-threatening that has been postponed. That includes tests like MRIs, which could be used to determine if you need a larger operation.
"Some of the times you need those procedures which we also were holding off some of those whether they are radiological procedures," Sagins said. "Sometimes in order to do the surgical procedures that you might want to do you need to have the MRI or a CT scan."
Sagins said everyone that comes in gets a mask and is screened right away.
Springfield Clinic has protocols in place to ensure the safety of the patient before they ever reach the surgery table.
"They (the patients) get called and questioned and prescreened and then when they come here they get screened again with all of the questions laid out by the CDC," Sagins said. "They also have preoperative testing 72 hours prior to the surgery to make sure they are negative."
According to Sagins, everyone in the operating room will have full PPE gear to be sure the environment is safe. Another issue that the Illinois government took into consideration is the profitability of these hospitals to perform elective procedures again.
"They (Illinois government) make their decisions based on what's best for the patients and for the folks of Illinois at large and keeping people safe is, I think, their number one priority," Sagins said. "But with the financial side, that is also an issue. I think it will be helpful to all of the facilities to be able to open up and do some procedures."
Sagins said there is a concern with people now putting off surgeries voluntarily out of fear of going into hospitals and possibly catching the virus, but that tale won't be fully told until after this is all over.
HSHS St. Johns did not respond to us in time to make it into the video story but they did provide us a statement that you can read in full below.
The following statement is from Sara Jimenez, marketing, communication, and advocacy director at HSHS Illinois.
"During the unknown early stages of COVID-19 in the nation and our communities many hospitals, like ours, canceled elective surgeries to ensure the hospital had the capacity to care for these patients and prepare for a surge while keeping patient safety a high priority. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines, hospitals will again be able to start allowing elective surgeries beginning on May 11. HSHS St. John’s Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is working on a process to bring those services back online and will be communicating with patients soon on what they should be prepared for, including having a negative COVID-19 test on file within a certain time period before the procedure and enforcing current visitor restrictions. We will continue to maintain a safe hospital environment for all patients we serve."