Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System are resuming select services and surgeries to safely provide clinically necessary care for the health and well-being of area patients.
“While we know COVID concerns are still high, we don’t want patients’ conditions to deteriorate or urgent needs to become emergent due to a reluctance to seek appropriate care,” said Dr. Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, chief clinical officer for Trinity Health Michigan.
Per Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order enacted in mid-March, the health system has only performed time-sensitive essential surgeries, including urgent and emergent procedures, as determined by its physicians and their patient’s health care needs.
Through a phased reopening approach, the health system is now focusing on addressing health conditions that may not be imminently life threatening but will result in overall worsening of the patient’s health and well-being if not addressed within the coming month. These essential procedures include cancer operations, vascular bypass and diagnostic procedures for which further delay carries significant risk of harm to patients.
Mercy Health and St. Joe’s also is enhancing safety precautions already in place to resume select surgeries, procedures and other critical services following CDC and state COVID-19 guidance.
Enhanced safety measures include:
- COVID-free zones will separate patients confirmed to have COVID-19 from others in Mercy Health’s facilities.
- All patients scheduled for elective procedures will be tested for COVID-19 prior to the surgery/procedure. If a patient tests positive, the procedure will be postponed until a negative result is obtained, unless urgent.
- Masks provided and required for everyone in Mercy Health’s facilities.
- CDC standards for facility deep cleaning with increased frequency and special attention to surfaces that are frequently touched, like doorknobs and flat surfaces.
- Continued visitor restrictions.
- Continued monitoring of personal protective equipment, medications, supplies and bed capacity.
“For the health, safety and welfare of our patients, whose care has been deferred during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, we are developing a clear pathway to begin safely performing time-sensitive procedures while we also continue to care for COVID-19 patients in the months to come,” Tocco-Bradley said.
Physicians will be reaching out to their patients over the coming weeks to discuss the need to begin scheduling time-sensitive procedures. IHA and St. Joe’s Medical Group providers also continue to offer virtual visits so patients still have access to needed health care.