SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 27, 2020) - Dignity Health St. Mary’s Medical Center 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.
“Halting scheduled procedures was one of the hardest decisions we made in the face of COVID-19,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO David Klein, MD, MBA, “but it was the right thing to do for public safety. Now that data shows the initial peak of the pandemic is behind us, we are excited to make elective procedures available once again as part of a gradual process to ensure we are providing the safest care possible to our community.”
Like most hospitals, St. Mary’s paused scheduled procedures to reduce transmission of the virus and expand capacity for a surge of COVID-19 patients. Based on new 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, St. Mary’s has implemented detailed criteria for resuming scheduled procedures and other services.
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.
“San Franciscans shouldn’t postpone getting the care they need,” said St. Mary’s Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Robert Murray, MD. “Neglecting symptoms and delaying routine care may increase our community’s risk of serious complications. We want to assure everyone that St. Mary’s has been successfully managing infectious diseases alongside standard patient care since its very inception, and our hospital and ER are safe and ready to provide immediate care for urgent conditions.”
To ensure it remains safe to provide and receive care at St. Mary’s, significant safety precautions remain in place: strict visitor policies; verbal 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.
To learn more about Dignity Health’s response to COVID-19, please visit https://www.dignityhealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019
About St. Mary’s Medical Center
Dignity Health St. Mary's Medical Center is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been caring for the people of San Francisco since 1857. Located across from Golden Gate Park, it is the longest continually running hospital in San Francisco. St. Mary’s cardiac program offers diagnostic services, treatment, and rehabilitation. St. Mary’s also was recognized as one of the Top 100 Orthopedic Programs nationally by Becker’s Hospital Review and is a Joint Commission Certified Stroke Center. St. Mary’s state-of-the-art Cancer Center offers the full range of oncology, radiation, and imaging services. Offering the most comprehensive breast imaging services in San Francisco, St. Mary’s has been designated as a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, a recognition that represents the national gold standard. Beyond clinical care, St. Mary's is committed to furthering the healing ministry, and to providing high-quality, affordable health care to the community it serves. For more information, call (415) 668-1000 or visit DignityHealth.org/StMarys.
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