GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Glens Falls Hospital announced Thursday they have been granted a waiver to resume elective outpatient surgeries and procedures.
The hospital says, in order to qualify, they had to present a detailed plan to put in place to resume surgeries and procedures that explicitly stated measures to be taken to insure a potential surge in COVID-19 patients could be handled. The hospital reportedly has a plan in place to “surge” as needed by 54% in capacity and beds.
“This is great news for the community as well as the hospital,” said GFH CEO Dianne Shugrue. “A planned procedure does not mean it is not medically urgent – these are patients who need a painful joint repaired, a diagnostic cardiac procedure, a gallbladder surgery, and many other surgeries and procedures that are important to the health of our patients.”
The hospital says all patients scheduled for planned outpatient surgeries and procedures are required to be tested for COVID-19 and can only receive their planned care if their test results are negative. Additionally, the patients receiving care must be quarantined before and after their procedure.
The hospital has reportedly developed guides for all patients to follow who are undergoing a scheduled surgery or outpatient procedure. All COVID-19 inpatients are reportedly moved away from the outpatient procedure areas and a separate sterilized wing has been set up for procedures requiring a longer stay due to any complications that has not been used for any sick patients.
“We also want to emphasize that we are well prepared to handle emergency cases, “ said Hospital CEO Dianne Shugrue. “If you have chest pains or you are injured – what ever the reason you think you should seek emergency care – we are open, we are taking every precaution to keep you safe, and keep our staff safe.”
The hospital says they will start offering procedures immediately, with the intended goal of increasing capacity as fast as is safe and necessary starting with more simple procedures adding more complex ones as time goes on.
Additionally, the hospital says as capacity increases and the number of cases increases, furloughed workers will be brought back as needed.