In this Guidance on COVID-19 for Health Care Providers in Pennsylvania
released May 9, DOH revised previous instruction as stay-at-home orders are lifted. Providers may resume non-urgent and elective care when appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is available and telemedicine is not sufficient. DOH recommends screening patients for symptoms.
After directing physicians to postpone or cancel non-emergent surgeries and procedures, DOH announced that non-emergent surgeries and procedures may resume in hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities provided that it can do so without jeopardizing safety of patients and staff or the ability to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
Hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities must ensure they have enough PPE available to handle a surge in COVID-19 cases without having to prioritize care. Additionally, hospitals and facilities must have adequate staff to handle a potential surge in patients. Hospitals and facilities will need to update their emergency preparedness plans to reflect their preparedness for possible resurgence.
Hospitals and facilities will need to review the Joint Statement issued by the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, and American Hospital Association. Any hospitals and facilities that also provide pediatric treatment and care should additionally review this guidance from the Children’s Hospital Association of the United States when determining whether to proceed with pediatric elective surgeries and procedures.
To review DOH’s guidance for hospitals, click here. To review DOH’s guidance for ASFs, click here.