Outpatient Surgery Magazine

COVID-19 Crisis - April 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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(ASA) and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) in calling for surgical facilities to establish Surgical Review Committees consisting of leaders from surgery, anesthesiology and nursing. The committees would serve as administrative bodies that provide "defined, transparent and responsive oversight for triaging surgical cases during the COVID-19 pandemic." The organizations felt it necessary to fill gaps in national guidance on these urgent issues. There remains a nagging ambiguity behind the term "elective sur- gery." As of late last month, the Northern GI Endoscopy Center in Glens Falls, N.Y., had voluntarily shut down with the expectation of eventually reopening to perform emergent cases. Beth Hogan, MSN, RN, CASC, CNOR, CGRN, the facility's clinical director of nursing, acknowledges the gray area between cases that must be performed and those that should be postponed. Ms. Hogan says physicians must document why they decid- ed to proceed or postpone planned procedures, partly to protect themselves against future scrutiny from med- ical malpractice lawyers or insurers who might question the urgency of a procedure and withhold payment. She's heard of physicians consulting with peers to get a second opinion on whether a procedure should be performed. "The mandate to cancel elective procedures doesn't mean there aren't still surgeries that need to happen," says Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) CEO Bill Prentice. "There's a clear expectation, I think, both on the part of CMS A P R I L 2 0 2 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 2 3 • PERSONAL PROTECTION The coronavirus has forced facilities to pivot into self-preservation mode until they can return to caring for patients.

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