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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (May 11, 2020) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has announced a gradual reopening of elective procedures. Emphasis in this first phase will be placed on medically necessary, time-sensitive procedures including surgeries, endoscopies, cardiac catheterization lab procedures, and interventional radiology procedures.
“One of the toughest changes we have had to make in the face of COVID-19 has been pausing scheduled procedures,” said Dominican Hospital President and CEO Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “We are thrilled to begin offering elective procedures once again. The safety of our patients and staff always come first. We won’t be able to provide every service right away—this will be a gradual process to ensure we are addressing the most urgent needs first and providing the safest care possible to our community.”
Like most hospitals, Dominican paused scheduled procedures to reduce transmission of the virus and expand capacity for a surge of COVID-19 patients. Now that data shows the initial peak of the pandemic appears to be behind us, Dominican Hospital has implemented detailed criteria for resuming scheduled procedures and other services, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, American Hospital Association, and the leading national associations of nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologists. Before scheduling procedures, there needed to be a sustained reduction in COVID-19 cases in the community, enough personal protective equipment to keep patients and staff safe, and testing capacity for all patients receiving care in our operating rooms.
In addition to these criteria, we continue to take significant steps to ensure it remains safe to provide and receive care at Dominican, including a strict visitor policy, screening all patients for COVID-19 symptoms and ensuring they are wearing a mask, daily staff symptom monitoring, rigorous social distancing, isolating patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from other patients at the hospital, enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes throughout the hospital, and adjusting operating room schedules to allow for additional cleanings after each procedure. “It is important to remember that delaying care can make many illnesses significantly worse,” said Dominican Hospital Chief Medical Officer Greg Whitley, MD. “Ignoring symptoms and postponing your care may increase your risk of serious complications. Dominican Hospital has successfully managed infectious diseases alongside standard patient care for generations. Our hospital and our Emergency Department are safe, and ready to provide immediate care for urgent and life-threatening conditions.”
To learn more about Dominican Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit dignityhealth.org/covid19dsc.
About Dominican Hospital
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for generations. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center. Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican Hospital offers a comprehensive, Baby Friendly-designated Birth Center, and provides an on-site Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through a partnership with Stanford Children’s Health. Dominican has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence. Dominican Hospital is planning a $360 million renovation and expansion to ensure that the growing Santa Cruz County community can access world class health care well into the future. The project will allow for advanced technology, new state-of-theart facilities, and even more innovative healing spaces. To learn more about Dominican Hospital, please visit dignityhealth.org/dominican.
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Kevin Kimbrough, Communications Manager