Baptist Health Madisonville rolls out plan to resume elective procedures, surgeries
Madisonville, KY (May 5, 2020)
Baptist Health Madisonville is rolling out a restart plan to gradually resume full operations, focusing on the wellbeing and safety of its patients and employees.
“Baptist Health is restarting many patient services, beginning with diagnostic imaging services, with processes in place to ensure the safety of our patients and staff,” said Gerard Colman, Baptist Health CEO. “We will closely follow all local, state and national guidelines in regard to checking everyone in advance for COVID-19 symptoms and maintaining proper physical distancing. We have successfully flattened the curve and we will continue to use these measures for the safety of our communities, providers and employees.”
“We appreciate the patience of those who previously had procedures scheduled. We will work closely with all of our healthcare providers to systematically work through that backlog based on patients’ needs,” added Colman.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced last week that he is reopening the state’s economy with healthcare services. Baptist Health Madisonville is working thoughtfully and diligently with its medical experts – and in collaboration with local and state government plus other healthcare providers – to determine the safest and best methods to phase in services.
Last week, outpatient diagnostic radiology and laboratory services resumed at Baptist Health Madisonville which included diagnostic CTs of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, MRIs of the spine and extremities, as well as laboratory testing and diagnostic blood draws.
Baptist Health Medical Group physician practices and clinics resumed in-person visits with added precautions to ensure physical distancing in waiting rooms, limited visitors and masks required for all patients, visitors and staff.
“Baptist Health recognizes not all individuals feel comfortable leaving their homes to receive care. Your safety is of utmost importance so we’ll continue to offer video and e-visit options, where possible,” said Chief Medical Officer Wayne Lipson, MD. “These visit options will allow you and your loved ones to meet with your provider securely and confidentially.“
Beginning May 6, select outpatient surgeries will restart, along with invasive procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy, inguinal and umbilical hernia repair, and excision of lesions. Orthopedic surgeries will include knee arthroscopy, carpal tunnel, and arthroscopy.
During phase two, surgeons will continue to focus on outpatient surgeries but will be adding in ankle arthroscopy and bunionectomy, tubal ligation, hysteroscopy with ablation, and arteriovenous fistula creation.
The last phase will be all specialties listed above in addition to Ophthalmology with cataracts, ENT-tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, bilateral tube implants for ears, and all other ear procedures, and Urology to include all urology procedures. This will also begin the ramp up of 50% of our inpatient procedures. This is subject to change depending on the health of the community and the status of the coronavirus.
We have continued doing lung procedures, open heart surgery, urgent/emergent urology- stent placements, bladder tumors, prostate tumors, cholecystectomy, appendectomy, and colon resections as needed to provide emergent care for those in need.
Starting May 13, Baptist Health Madisonville will phase in inpatient surgeries with a goal to return to normal patient volumes by late May or early June.
“Anyone who has postponed surgery or a procedure needs to discuss timing with their doctor as to when they should reschedule. We want to be sure they meet all pre-surgery requirements so they can have the best outcome,” said Baptist Health Madisonville President Robert Ramey. “We want to remind the community as well, do not hesitate in seeking medical care for urgent and emergency care. We are here to care for you.”
Patient safety measures
For the safety of patients, caregivers and the community, both patients and staff will be required to wear a mask. Patients and visitors are encouraged to bring their own masks, as recommended by CDC guidelines, to preserve supplies for our healthcare workers.
Suspected or presumptive COVID-19 patients will be treated in isolated areas away from those seeking care for other ailments. Healthcare staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms as they report for work, while patients will be screened as they enter Baptist Health facilities. Screening will include having your temperature taken.
Restrictions on bringing a companion to appointments will continue. Patients should come alone, unless they are under age 18, or are incapacitated and need assistance. Visitation is allowed in end-of-life cases with some added guidelines to protect our most vulnerable patients.
Video visits or email connection with healthcare providers via Baptist Health Virtual Care is highly recommended for non-emergency care. These can be conducted from home or office using a smartphone or computer with video capability. For information on accessing Virtual Care, visit BaptistHealthVirtualCare.com.
Baptist Health suspended elective surgeries on March 18 on the recommendation of the governor, and certain diagnostic services a week later.