Major Oregon health systems limiting elective surgeries

Several major health systems in Oregon —  Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Sciences University and Kaiser Permanente Northwest — have started to limit elective surgeries due to an influx of COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to Oregon Live.

Legacy Health, based in Portland, will reduce the number of elective procedures requiring an overnight hospital stay by 25 percent.

"We will monitor the situation and adjust as needed," Trent Green, Legacy Health COO, wrote in an email to staff obtained by Oregon Live. "If the number of hospitalized patients continues to grow, we may cancel more surgeries. As hospital volumes lower, we will add back elective surgeries."

Kaiser Permanente Northwest, which has hospitals in Oregon and southwest Washington state, is implementing a "scheduling pause" at some of its Oregon medical centers through Dec. 31.  

"We're seeing a significant increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate, which may result in further constraints to inpatient bed availability through the rest of the year," Michael Foley, Kaiser’s director of integrated communications, told Oregon Live. 

Oregon Health & Science University in Portland also is implementing voluntary elective surgery deferrals. The hospital system will evaluate surgical cases daily to ensure it has the appropriate capacity to care for all patients, according to the report. 

Unlike in spring, when states mandated the postponement of elective surgeries, this is a voluntary measure taken by hospitals and health systems. 

The largest provider in Oregon, Portland-based Providence Health & Services, has not suspended elective procedures.


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