Long-term care providers across the country want assurances that they’ll have enough personal protective equipment as several states look to resume elective surgeries.
In a recent series of tweets Wednesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called on providers to reassess procedures that were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic in a move to resume some elective surgeries in the state.
Providers, however, are cautioning that several factors — like adequate supplies of personal protective equipment — must be in place before procedures can be restarted and patients start coming into their facilities for recovery. Enough PPE supplies was also among the guidance for resuming elective surgeries recently issued by the American Hospital Association, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.
“At this moment, many post-acute care providers in Ohio still do not have the adequate supplies of PPE needed to react to COVID-19, let alone elective procedures,” LeadingAge Ohio President and CEO Kathryn Brod told McKnight’s.
“Resuming elective surgery speaks to the continuing need for increased collaboration throughout the health system — understanding the capabilities of all providers within a system is critical when making decisions that shift patients across care settings,” Brod said.
She added that immediately quarantining patients from hospitals will be a key factor in preventing the asymptomatic spread of the disease.
“If a long-term care facility has the space to effectively quarantine this patient, has the staff to care for them, and has adequate PPE to protect the patient and the staff, then it can help patients and businesses alike,” Brod said.
In Arizona, state officials recently laid out plans that would allow hospitals and outpatient centers to resume elective surgeries starting May 1.
Under those plans, medical facilities must meet a series of requirements before resuming procedures, which include developing discharge plans for patients being transferred to nursing facilities. Those plans must include COVID-19 testing.
They include: having more than 14 days worth of PPE for medical staff on hand; painting adequate staffing and bed capacity; screening staff, patients and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms; and implementing an enhanced cleaning process for waiting areas.
In other coronavirus-related news:
• The federal government released a new toolkit Thursday that aimed at accelerating the adoption of telehealth coverage during the coronavirus pandemic.
• In brighter news, a nursing home resident in England was brought to tears after an employee gifted him a pillow that featured a picture of his late wife. The resident burst into tears and held the pillow tightly to his chest after receiving the surprise.