SCOTTSBLUFF ― With tens of thousands of surgeries delayed nationwide during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians are urging patients to get the care they need now that elective surgical procedures have resumed in many hospitals, including Regional West. In order to provide a safe environment and minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19, Regional West has implemented strict safety guidelines for patients scheduled for non-emergency inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures.

In adherence with state and federal guidelines and recommendations, Regional West continues to follow a rigorous set of safety precautions when treating patients undergoing elective surgical procedures. Hip and knee replacements, weight management, hernia repair, gallbladder surgery, and cancer surgery are among the wide range of elective surgeries that come with differing degrees of urgency and complexity.

Jeffrey Holloway, MD, FACS, acting president of Regional West Physicians Clinic and Regional West Chief of Surgery, stressed the importance of not letting fears of COVID-19 interfere with scheduling elective surgical procedures.

“Regional West is open and performing surgical procedures daily,” he said. “If you had to delay surgery this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge you to make an appointment with your provider and not let the situation worsen. We want people to feel comfortable about getting surgical procedures done, coming to the Emergency Room, and making clinic appointments. It’s safe.”

Everyone, including patients, visitors, providers, and staff, is required to wear a mask, and are screened when entering any of our facilities. Those with respiratory symptoms are denied entry and referred to Regional West’s offsite Respiratory Clinic.

In addition to regular pre-surgical testing, surgical patients are required to have a COVID-19 test a few days prior to their elective procedure, and are asked to self-isolate at home during the remaining days between testing and surgery.

Ensuring social distancing remains a priority. Regional West patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are located in a separate area of the hospital from other patients. Patients designated as ‘COVID-19 rule out,’ where results of testing are not yet known, are in another designated care area of the hospital.

In addition to regular in-person visits, some patients now have the option of virtual healthcare appointments at all Regional West Physicians Clinic clinics. Virtual visits allow patients to keep their distance and get treatment, follow-ups, and medication prescriptions following a procedure or for illnesses and minor injuries, using an easy to download app on a smartphone or computer. Contact your primary care provider or specialist for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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