Houston hospitals to resume some elective care

Many hospitals and health systems on the Texas Medical Center campus in Houston are starting to resume elective care and procedures April 22, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The return to care of patients without COVID-19 comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order April 17 relaxing restrictions on elective surgeries.

Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann and CHI St. Luke's on April 21 shared plans with the Chronicle to resume noninvasive diagnostic appointments for such tests as MRIs and CT scans. The systems will prioritize procedures for cancer patients, people with high pain levels and patients who've had procedures delayed the longest. Nonurgent procedures, such as joint replacements or weight-loss surgeries, will resume at some point in the near future, the systems said. 

"We're confident that we can safely treat both COVID and non-COVID patients," Roberta Schwartz, PhD, president of Houston Methodist Hospital, told the Chronicle. "We are concerned that other healthcare issues — cancer, heart disease, other problems that need treatment — may be being neglected. There’ll be long-term negative consequences for the community if they're not treated."

Harris Health System and MD Anderson Cancer Center are not resuming elective procedures yet. A system spokesperson told the Chronicle that resuming elective care now would be premature for since the system is still seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients and maintains a high occupancy rate. 

MD Anderson is still performing only procedures deemed medically necessary as it reviews the governor's new executive order, the medical center told the Chronicle.

More articles on patient flow:
Integris halts inpatient services at Oklahoma hospital campus
Coronavirus patients may be airlifted from Arizona to New Mexico for care
COVID-19 peak dates: Updated projections for each state

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