Contact: John Broom
Ashtabula County Medical Center announced today it will lift the temporary restrictions placed on elective procedures due to the COVID-19 virus. The decision follows the release of Governor DeWine’s plan for the state. Elective procedures that do not require an overnight stay will resume on May 11th. Physician offices have begun notifying patients to schedule their procedure and to provide education on pre-surgery protocols.
Surgical cases that require an overnight stay and that meet the following ODH guidelines have been offered, and will continue to be offered, at ACMC:
- Threat to patient’s life if surgery is not performed;
- Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
- Risk of metastasis or progression of staging; or
- Risk of rapidly worsening or severe symptoms which are time sensitive
“The resumption of elective procedures is great news for patients whose care plans were placed on hold due to COVID-19,” said ACMC Healthcare System President and CEO Michael Habowski. “Even before the Governor released his phased approach to reopening Ohio, including the resumption of elective procedures, we created a steering committee to begin guiding that process. Because of our usual high daily surgical volume, we are taking a very methodical, phased approach to resuming elective procedures to ensure our patients and caregivers are safe. We continue to follow all safety guidelines from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Ohio Department of Health.”
Safety protocols put in place regarding care include, but are not limited to:
- All individuals entering ACMC facilities will continue to have their temperature taken and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
- All individuals entering ACMC facilities will be required to don a cloth mask. Patients may bring their own mask or may opt to wear one supplied by the health system.
- All care team members will wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times when caring for patients.
- Visitors will still be prohibited. One support person will be allowed for surgical patients, delivering OB mothers; children under the age of 18; patients with confusion, altered mental status or developmental delays; and end-of-life patients.
- Six-foot social distances will be established in public areas such as waiting rooms.
- Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch, public surface areas will continue.
- Patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 will continue to be co-horted in separate, designated units, away from non-infectious patients.
“Like hospitals around the state and country, we’re able to lift restrictions because we have seen a slowing of COVID-19 transmission,” said Habowski. “However, living with the COVID-19 virus is the new normal for now. As people resume activities, we may see a spike in the virus. We are prepared to respond to if a surge happens and will always side on protecting our patients, healthcare workers, and community.”
To remain prepared, ACMC will maintain a sufficient supply of PPE as well as other resources needed to care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, ACMC continues to collaborate with other healthcare entities in the county, as well as the Ashtabula County Health Department and Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency, to continually evaluate incidences and trends of COVID-19 cases within Ashtabula County and the surrounding area.
“Safety is our top priority,” said Habowski. “Things will look a little different in the new normal, for example, fewer chairs in waiting areas and caregivers throughout our facilities wearing masks. But our commitment to deliver high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care, remains the same.”