SAN FRANCISCO (May 27, 2020) — Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial 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 and interventional radiology procedures.
“One of the hardest decisions we made in the face of COVID-19 was halting scheduled procedures,” said Saint Francis President and CEO David Klein, MD, MBA “We are excited to make elective procedures available once again as part of a gradual process so that we can ensure we are addressing the most urgent needs first, while also providing the safest care possible to our community.”
Like most hospitals, Saint Francis 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 is behind us, Saint Francis 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.
Among other criteria, 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 before we could begin to schedule procedures again.
To ensure it remains safe to provide and receive care at Saint Francis, significant safety precautions remain in place: strict visitor policies; screening of all patients for COVID-19 symptoms; mask requirements for all; daily staff symptom monitoring; rigorous social distancing; isolation of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from other patients at the hospital; enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes throughout the hospital; and the adjustment of operating room schedules to allow for additional cleanings after each procedure.
“Our community shouldn’t postpone getting the care they need,” said Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Kathleen Jordan, MD. “Neglecting symptoms and delaying care may increase one’s risk of serious complications. We want to assure everyone that Saint Francis has been successfully managing infectious diseases alongside standard patient care since our very inception. Our hospital and ER are safe and ready to provide the care you need.”
To learn more about Dignity Health’s response to COVID-19, please visit https://www.dignityhealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019
About Saint Francis Memorial Hospital
Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been providing exceptional healthcare in San Francisco for more than 100 years. Located atop Nob Hill and adjacent to the Tenderloin District, Saint Francis is home to one of the City’s busiest emergency rooms, the Bothin Burn Center—the largest burn unit in Northern California—as well as the Saint Francis Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, and the Gender Institute. With its close proximity to downtown San Francisco, Saint Francis also specializes in Occupational Health and Emergency Medicine. Saint Francis has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine and Hip/Knee Replacement Surgery and is a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. For more information, call (415) 353-6000 or visit DignityHealth.org/SaintFrancis.
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