Following newly released COVID-19 guidelines announced by state and local
health officials, Saint John Hospital, a member of Prime Healthcare, has
begun scheduling elective surgeries and procedures.
Prashanth Katrapati, MD, FACC, FSCAI, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, said
a careful and structured move toward restarting clinical care operations
and procedures has begun in order to address the needs of the community
and expand access to medical and surgical care. The hospital is following
guidelines and a roadmap that were established by the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid, the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists,
Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and the American Hospital
“The hospital will be carefully monitoring the virus’s ongoing
impact to the community and will maintain its ability to properly respond
to the coronavirus as we begin serving patients with the essential care
they need,” said Dr. Katrapati. “We want to assure our patients
and community that we are implementing best practices and will do everything
we can to keep them safe.”
A committee of clinical leaders at Saint John was formed to ensure safe
resumption of essential health care services, including non-emergent surgeries
and procedures. Patients will be screened and tested for COVID-19 prior
to any surgery. Steps are taken to minimize any risks and make certain
that COVID-19 patients are isolated from non-COVID-19 patients. New policies
have been developed and will be reevaluated and reassessed as needed.
In support of continual efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, no visitors
will be allowed in the outpatient surgery area. Individuals transporting
the patient will be asked to remain in their vehicles and will be notified
by phone when the patient is ready for discharge.
Mark Benz, Regional CEO of MOKAN Prime Healthcare, said patient safety
remains the highest priority at all Prime hospitals and that supplies
of personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and gloves are more
than adequate to treat both COVID-19 patients and those undergoing important
elective procedures and surgeries.
“Resuming these important services is essential to our mission of
providing quality healthcare to Leavenworth County citizens and we will
do so safely and cautiously.” said Paula Ellis, DNP, CARN, NEA-BC,
Saint John Chief Executive Officer. “As a health system, Prime remains
committed to continual surveillance ensuring that our facilities are safe
places for all patients, providers and staff,” said Ellis.
In addition, stay-at-home orders issued by public health agencies make
exceptions for those in need of other emergency medical treatments, and
the hospital’s Emergency Department remains open for all those seeking
emergency care. Following physical distancing guidelines for COVID-19
does not mean ignoring the signs or symptoms of other medical emergencies.
“Those experiencing signs of a heart attack or stroke, for instance,
such as difficulty breathing or sudden muscle weakness, should still call
911 or visit the emergency room immediately,” said Dr. Katrapati.
“We are well prepared to handle non-COVID emergencies as well as
able to deal with an influx of potential COVID-19 cases, and are following
all state, local and federal guidelines to safeguard our staff and other
patients from exposure.”
Saint John is certified as an Advanced Disease-Specific Care for Acute
Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart
Association/American Stroke Association.