Healthcare groups offer guidelines for resuming elective surgeries

Four healthcare groups have developed a roadmap to guide physicians, nurses and facilities in their resumption of elective surgeries when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

The roadmap comes from the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and American Hospital Association. They said facility readiness to resume elective surgery will vary by geographic location, local COVID-19 activity and resources. Their guide offers general principles and considerations about when and how to safely resume elective surgeries.

According to the groups, before resuming elective procedures, facilities should:

  • Ensure a sustained reduction in the rate of new COVID-19 cases has occurred in the area for at least 14 days
  • Have enough trained staff and supplies to treat nonelective patients without resorting to a crisis-level standard of care
  • Implement a policy for testing staff and patients for COVID-19, factoring in accuracy and availability of testing, and be ready to respond when results are positive
  • Establish a committee — including surgery, anesthesiology and nursing leaders — to develop a surgery prioritization policy that considers immediate patient needs
  • Adopt policies specific to COVID-19 for all phases of surgical care
  • Collect and assess data related to COVID-19 to frequently reevaluate and reassess policies and procedures
  • Develop and implement a social-distancing policy for employees, patients and visitors in nonrestricted areas to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 cases

Read more about the groups' roadmap here.


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