State approves order allowing hospitals to resume more urgent procedures
Elkins, WV – On Thursday, April 23 the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, Office of Inspector General, approved Davis Health System to resume more urgent medical procedures.
The order comes nearly a month after Davis Health System hospitals suspended non-emergent, non-urgent, and in-person medical and surgical care due to growing concerns for the safety of patients and healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are taking a phased and deliberate approach to safely allow medical services to resume,” said DHS President and CEO Vance Jackson, FACHE. “Elective, or scheduled, procedures are important to the patient’s health and we’re working responsibly to get these patients the care they need first.”
To begin phase one of reopening services, Davis Health System completed an application which was submitted to the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification. The application outlined DHS’ roadmap to gradually reopen necessary medical care. Pursuant to standards set forth by Executive Order 28-20, important measures regarding patient, workforce and environmental safety are implemented:
Patient Care & Safety
- All patients entering the facility will be given a mask. Patients refusing to wear a mask will not be allowed to enter.
- Patients requiring screening before entering our facilities include those who: (1) are symptomatic with fever and cough; (2) are scheduled for surgical or invasive medical procedures; and (3) have had known positive contact with COVID-19 persons.
Healthcare Worker Safety
- All staff are screened at the beginning of their work shift.
- Sufficient resources of Personal Protective Equipment are available to all staff and are worn according to protocols of patient care.
- Providers and clinical staff will wear surgical facemasks at all times. N95 masks are worn for high-risk procedures.
Facility & Environmental Safety
- Waiting areas, queue areas, and other public areas are arranged for social distancing.
- Current No Visitation restrictions will remain in place.
- All Davis Medical Outpatient Clinics are designated Non-COVID Care areas. Screening for symptoms of COVID are not performed in these areas.
- COVID testing is performed at off-site drive-thru locations on the DMC campus and at DirectCare of Elkins.
- Daily intensive sanitizing and housekeeping measures in high-touch and patient areas. UV lights in air handling units and terminal cleaning processes provide additional disinfection and decontamination of facilities.
- To ensure safe, high quality care of each surgical patient, DMC is following the Five Phases of Care continuum.
- All patients scheduled for surgical or invasive medical procedures will be screened for COVID.
Chief Medical Officer for DHS Catherine Chua, D.O. said their decision to move forward with some elective procedures was influenced by the fact that DHS hospitals have sufficient supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to meet near-term needs, and county data has shown little-to-no growth in local COVID cases.
“We will regularly review coronavirus activity data from the WV DHHR and local public health authority,” said Chua. “Our ability to perform in-house rapid PCR covid testing allows us to screen all patients scheduled for invasive or surgical procedures which helps us preserve a safe environment for our patients.”
“We’re advising patients to talk to their providers about scheduling procedures that they may have postponed. We are confident that we can provide care without compromising patient or staff safety, but the choice to resume treatment remains between the patient and their doctor. ”