Ascension Michigan implements phased approach to return to surgeries

WARREN — Ascension Michigan is anticipating resuming elective surgical procedures and other vital healthcare services at its sites of care using a phased and thoughtful approach with a focus on health and safety, starting May 29. All efforts are in alignment with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-96.

Ascension Michigan hospitals and outpatient facilities will begin scheduled surgeries and procedures, prioritizing those that are most urgent, while simultaneously ensuring continued capability and safety to provide care for patients with COVID-19.

“Ascension Michigan looks forward to safely providing additional non-emergent surgical and medical procedures as appropriate across all of our facilities, while continuing our current safety practices and following all CDC guidelines,” said Dr. Ken Berkovitz, SVP, Ascension and Ministry Market Executive, Ascension Michigan. “Our approach for returning to scheduled surgeries is clinically-led, working with our physicians, clinicians and facility experts on a strategy that will keep our patients, associates and physicians safe.”

Time-sensitive surgical and medical procedures needed to protect and preserve the health safety and welfare of Ascension Michigan patients have been ongoing in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-17. Starting May 29, Ascension Michigan will begin scheduling additional surgeries, prioritizing urgent procedures that cannot be further delayed due to adverse healthcare risks. Seven days prior to surgery, patients will be asked to quarantine, per CDC guidelines, and follow social distancing measures. All patients with a scheduled surgery will be COVID-19 lab tested 48 hours prior, in addition to being screened the day of surgery.

Additionally, Ascension Michigan will continue a number of safety measures already in place, including advanced telehealth capabilities for virtual care, universal masking, hospital visitor restrictions, social distancing, and screening of all persons entering our facilities, including temperature checks. Ascension Michigan will continue the ongoing extensive sanitization and cleaning of our facilities, including all surgical areas, and each hospital will have a designated space for surgical patients. Measures are also in place to ensure we maintain adequate personal protective equipment inventory levels across our health ministries.

“We remain focused on surge readiness and providing continued COVID-19 care while we safely return to serving the community’s broader medically necessary healthcare needs,” said Dr. Charles Husson, Chief Medical Officer, Ascension Michigan. “We know this is a fluid situation, and we are prepared to be flexible and responsive to rapidly evolving conditions in our community and our sites of care. Our collective efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are working, but the pandemic is not yet over,” said Husson. “As we look ahead, we ask not only our staff, but our community to remain vigilant in masking, practicing social distancing and continuing to follow local orders to stop the spread of the virus.” — G.G.