BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – As hospitals gear up to start doing elective surgeries again, Beckley ARH CEO Rocco Massey says this week is a transitional one as they prepare to start elective procedures again on Monday.
There are more than 125 urgent elective procedures that had to be postponed but are now being put back on the schedule as they prepare to do about 16 per day.
“We’re not going to go from 0-60. It’s a phasing in. We’re going to prioritize these surgeries, so we established what we call a surgical review committee. That’s a multidisciplinary team of doctors and staff who will oversee the safe phasing in of these new and elective procedures that we’re bringing back,” Massey said.
The review committee will also oversee PPE usage to make sure they do not burn through it and review other guidelines set forth by the American College of Surgeons and the state.
BARH will also be testing every single patient before surgery for COVID-19.
“We set a window: 72 hours of each patient will get the test within that 72-hour window before that surgery procedure,” he said. “They’ll come in in advance.”
If the test is positive, Massey says will still proceed if the situation is dire. If not, the case will be deferred as the patient recovers.
Massey says this will be financially beneficial for the hospital as its seen a major decrease in visits, but he says it is more about returning to some sense of normalcy for patients and surgical staff.
While there may be some concern about coming into a hospital environment again, Massey assures the public that the hospital is one of the safest places to be because of its preparation and protocol.
“We used to guess whether someone should have a mask or not, and now everybody gets a mask. We sometimes screened, sometimes we didn’t screen. Now everybody’s screened,” he said. “We triage patients differently. Respiratory patients go this way, the broken ankles go this way. All these things, all these policies, procedures, practices have made the hospital the safest place.”
Beckley ARH did have to submit an application to open back up elective surgeries which took them two days to complete and was approved quickly by the state.