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Elective Surgery And The Coronavirus Pandemic

From CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System and UT Health East Texas:

As the demands of the current COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve in our community, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System and UT Health East Texas want to keep our East Texas communities informed about our approach to elective procedures and “non-essential” procedures.

The federal government has recommended that Americans postpone elective surgeries to increase capacity at medical facilities, and the American College of Surgeons has suggested a thoughtful approach to elective procedures. These announcements emphasize that health systems allow for local decision making as part of the overall process and it highlights the many factors we must consider when deciding to move forward with a procedure.

CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances and UT Health have carefully considered these recommendations, how they impact the communities we serve and will remain open for necessary elective procedures. We understand that not all elective procedures are equivalent and that if we delay care for a prolonged period of time, many issues may become emergent. In many cases, procedures labeled as “elective” are necessary to answer diagnostic questions or to resolve pain or mobility issues impacting the quality of life. So, we are taking a thoughtful approach, guided by our physician leaders and Chief Medical Officers, who will work together with each patient’s physician to help navigate these challenging decisions together to ensure the best outcome for our patients and the community.

Our leaders and infection control experts continue meeting daily to monitor the ever-changing situation and respond swiftly and appropriately. This is an unprecedented event in modern medicine and we are learning every day, so as the facts change and we learn more about the progression of this disease and the demands it places on our providers, staffs, and resources, we will work together to adjust our policy and practice to ensure we are providing the best care for East Texas.

We want to be perfectly clear: CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances and UT Health remain safe places for all to receive quality care. While COVID-19 is new, our processes and procedures in place for infection prevention and preventing the spread of illness are not. From physicians and nurses, quality and safety experts to those responsible for ordering supplies and keeping the hospital clean — all our associates and caregivers are involved in making sure we provide a safe environment for our patients. Every single day.