Local Health Updates & News May 2020

Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey announced on April 22, 2020 that he will be lifting the ban on elective surgeries effective May 1, 2020 for healthcare facilities that request exemption and are able to meet new requirements for COVID-19 safety and preparedness. The primary reason for delaying elective surgeries was to conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the ability to test patients and staff for COVID-19.

In order for Summit Healthcare to begin offering elective surgeries, the following criteria must be met:

  • A continuing supply of PPE for more than 14 days that is not reliant on the state or county health department;
  • Adequate staffing and bed availability;
  • Implement COVID-19 testing of all at-risk healthcare workers and each patient prior to scheduling of an elective non-essential surgery;
  • Implementation of a process to identify, inventory and document the availability of PPE, test collection kits, and the availability of a lab that can run the COVID-19 diagnostic test;
  • Implementation of a universal symptom screening process for all staff, patients, and visitors prior to entry into the facility;
  • Implementation of an enhanced cleaning process for patient and waiting areas;
  • Implementation of policies and procedures for appropriate discharge planning of patients; and
  • Implementation of policies and procedures that prioritize elective, non-essential surgeries based upon urgency following the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Adult Elective Surgery and Procedures Recommendations.

“Summit Healthcare has applied for exemption, meets all of the required criteria and will be starting elective surgeries beginning May 1, 2020. We have over 400 elective surgeries that have been delayed since the Governor’s order was issued on March 19, 2020,” says Ron McArthur, CEO of Summit Healthcare. “We are excited to begin offering elective surgeries again to continue to meet the healthcare needs of our communities.”

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