June 29, 2020 / by Robert King
Some hospital systems located in states that are seeing huge spikes of COVID-19 are continuing to perform elective procedures and developing strategies to avoid a total shutdown.
The experiences of hospitals in states such as Florida and Arizona could inform how systems will handle new surges of COVID-19 cases, especially if a second surge of the virus arrives in the fall. Hospitals have been reticent to shut down surgical procedures, which are pivotal to their bottom line and also impact patient care.
“We are not turning it all the way off,” said Marjorie Bessel, M.D., chief clinical officer for Banner Health, referring to elective procedures. “Our surgeries are needed and medically necessary and people need to have those surgeries done.”
The 28-hospital system has a large footprint in Arizona, which is experiencing a major spike in cases. Bessel said 45% of Arizona COVID-19 patients are in a Banner Health facility.