8 hospitals postponing elective procedures amid the COVID-19 resurgence

Hospitals across the U.S. are beginning to suspend elective procedures to respond to an uptick in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. 

Below is a breakdown of eight hospitals postponing or canceling the procedures to free up space, ensure proper staffing or enough protective gear to care for COVID-19 patients:

1. Madison, Wis.-based UW Health is postponing a small number of elective procedures to free up bed capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, according to WKOW. Jeff Pothof, MD, UW Health’s chief quality officer, said that patients may be asked to push back a non-emergency procedure by about a week. 

2. Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, Pa., will postpone a small number of elective procedures after some patients and caregivers tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital did not specify the number of patients and staff who tested positive. 

3. Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health will begin deferring elective procedures at three of its Tennessee hospitals due to a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Oct. 26, Ballad began rescheduling up to 25 percent of elective services at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn. Procedures are also expected to begin being deferred at Bristol Regional Medical Center and Johnson City Medical Center. 

4. Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tenn., will suspend elective procedures requiring an overnight stay for two weeks. Hospital leadership will re-evaluate the feasibility of elective surgeries by Nov. 9.

5. Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center said Oct. 26 it suspended elective procedures requiring an overnight stay after it was caring for a record high of 71 COVID-19 patients, according to WKRN.

6. Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Hospital canceled elective procedures after its intensive care unit hit capacity on Oct. 16. The hospital said it needed to postpone the elective care to allocate staff to care for critically ill patients. 

7. Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., will stop scheduling new elective surgery cases requiring an overnight stay, according to system CMO Mike Wilde, MD. New elective cases requiring an overnight stay were not scheduled for Oct. 19-23, but previously scheduled elective surgeries were performed.

8. Billings (Mont.) Clinic began evaluating each surgical case for urgency in late September. It is postponing those it says can wait, according to The Wall Street Journal.

More articles on patient flow:
10 hospitals closing departments, ending services
‘Nothing magical about this math’: Wisconsin could run out of ICU beds in 2 weeks
Texas to set up makeshift hospital amid COVID-19 surge


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