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St. Joseph to resume outpatient procedures

NEWS RELEASE  

As the first part of the reopening plan for medical services in Kentucky, CHI Saint Joseph Health is pleased to announce that it will begin offering a broader range of outpatient and ambulatory care services, starting today, April 27, with new protocols.

CHI Saint Joseph Health will now begin scheduling in-person and ambulatory non-urgent visits, including for physical therapy, and will reopen diagnostic and radiology testing, such as mammograms and X-rays.

While CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group clinics and physician offices remained open to patients with urgent cases following the Governor’s executive order, many non-urgent medical visits were moved to a telehealth setting to ensure patients could still access the care they needed. Telehealth will remain an option for many patients. Diagnostic and radiology testing was also paused in March as measures were enacted to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

CHI Saint Joseph Health, including Saint Joseph London, will resume outpatient elective procedures, such as colonoscopies, beginning Wednesday, May 6. Pre-anesthesia testing will begin this week in advance of the resumption of elective procedures next week. Inpatient elective procedures will resume soon after based on the state’s guidelines.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, and it has been difficult for some patients as we paused services such as diagnostic and radiology testing, non-urgent procedures and elective surgeries,” said Bruce Tassin, CEO, CHI Saint Joseph Health. “We appreciate the Governor’s thoughtful and safety-focused decision, and have taken a number of steps to reinforce the health and safety of patients utilizing our services, as well as for our staff members.”

Staff and patients in these areas will be required to wear masks; patients are asked to bring their own mask for visits – cloth masks are acceptable. Patients will register virtually prior to visiting, and may be asked to wait in their vehicles until the time of their appointment. Only patients will be allowed in the offices and clinics, with a few exceptions, such as a pediatric patient or patient who needs help due to mobility issues.

CHI Saint Joseph Health has developed criteria for resuming outpatient elective procedures and other services at its facilities based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Surgeon General, American Hospital Association, and the leading national associations of nurses, surgeons and anesthesiologists.

Significant steps also will be taken for elective surgeries to ensure the safety of patients, staff and caregivers. All staff and patients at hospitals will be screened with a temperature check and required to wear a mask, and clinical teams continue to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment for the procedure. Facilities have altered the registration process to decrease the necessary interaction time. Patients will be tested for the novel coronavirus 72-96 hours prior to their procedure and will be required to self-isolate until the time of their procedure.

For now, the most urgent elective procedures will be prioritized, with other services gradually being added. CHI Saint Joseph Health will share additional information when it is able to begin the process of offering more procedures and services in communities.

For more information on these updated guidelines and plans, patients can visit www.chisaintjosephhealth.org.