Phased increase in surgical services planned this month, with normal operations by end of May
In keeping with guidance from Gov. Andy Beshear, Norton Healthcare is resuming previously-postponed medical procedures, including elective inpatient surgeries.
The health system gradually will add procedures such as outpatient surgery and limited inpatient operations. After that, if COVID-19 cases remain manageable and the Kentucky Department for Public Health agrees, all medical care will resume by the end of May at the same levels as before the coronavirus pandemic.
Urgent and emergency care has continued at Norton Healthcare throughout the crisis.
The phased steps are:
- Phase 1: Started April 27 and allowed office visits and diagnostic procedures with social distancing and other protections in place.
- Phase 2: Outpatient surgeries are scheduled to resume May 6 for patients not expected to need more than 23 hours of observation.
- Phase 3: Starting May 13, Norton Healthcare will be able to perform half the number of inpatient procedures as before the coronavirus protections took place, if cases remain on a downward trend.
- Full services can resume May 27 if personal protective equipment supplies and bed availability permit.
In preparation, Norton Healthcare has implemented new pre-admission testing and is prioritizing patients for procedures.
All patients undergoing a surgery or invasive medical procedure will be tested for COVID-19, with results received before any elective invasive procedure. Patients will be directed to their testing site.