Coronavirus testing insufficient to resume elective surgeries, poll of hospitals says

COVID-19 testing capacity in hospitals and surgery centers should be doubled before elective surgeries fully resume, a recent survey of 150 U.S. hospitals and surgery centers found. 

The survey was conducted April 27-30 by Premier, a group purchasing organization.

Eighty-seven percent of the respondents said their facilities intend to test any patient admitted for an elective procedure for COVID-19, but only 27 percent said they were currently able to do so. 

According to the survey, hospitals and healthcare facilities need to expand their current COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity by at least 211 percent to even partially resume elective procedures and diagnostic services. 

Of the respondents, 81 percent said they intend to screen all employees for symptoms of COVID-19 before resuming nonemergency procedures, but only 32 percent said they'd be able to give COVID-19 diagnostic tests to all of their front-line healthcare workers. Only 22 percent said they're able to test all employees, including food service workers and janitors. 

The survey indicates that shortages of reagents and testing swabs are the main barriers to more widespread testing. 

Read the full survey here.


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