The University of Toledo Medical Center is preparing to resume elective outpatient surgeries that were temporarily halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restart is being done in accordance with guidelines from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, which include strict adherence to infection control practices, a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment, and conversations with patients about their relative risk of contracting COVID-19.
Aligned with the state’s Responsible RestartOhio guidance, UTMC’s first procedures are planned to take place Friday, May 1.
Patients in need of a surgical procedure will be required to complete a questionnaire and be tested for COVID-19 prior to surgery. The number of employees in the operating room will be limited to include only those who are absolutely necessary, and they all will wear extra personal protective equipment.
Prioritization will be given to patients who have the most urgent medical needs. While classified as elective, these medically necessary procedures cover a wide range of cases, many of which have significant implications for quality of life. They do not, however, require an overnight stay.
UTMC announced March 15 it was canceling elective procedures, two days before the Ohio Department of Health ordered all hospitals in the state to pause the procedures in an effort to preserve personal protective equipment.
The hospital also will soon begin phasing in more face-to-face visits with healthcare providers. Beginning Monday, May 4, some UTMC clinics will reopen to patients who require chronic disease management or select preventative services.
To further protect patients and employees, UTMC will enforce social distancing in all waiting rooms and clinics, screen for fever at entrances, provide additional cleaning of common and clinical areas, ensure patients and providers are wearing appropriate protective equipment, and stagger scheduling to reduce contact between patients.
UTMC continues to enforce visitor restrictions. The only exceptions are for end-of-life visits, minors, or individuals who need assistance with daily tasks.