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Elective Surgery is Essential - August 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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case cancellation, but those instances have been rare. "We've performed about 1,700 COVID-19 tests, and just five have come back positive," says Ms. Davis. Among her staff members, who are tested daily and required to follow a strict indoor masking policy, there have been zero positive coronavirus test results thus far. During the shutdown earlier this year, Ms. Rhodes met with clinical leaders to decide what measures needed to be in place to protect patients and staff when elective procedures were allowed to resume. "Safety has been our top priority through- out the entire process," she says. Clinical leaders at UCSD constantly monitor PPE and supply levels, as well as the community's rate of positive COVID-19 cases, which was approxi- mately 6% in late July. Ms. Rhodes believes her team can operate safely if these measurements are constantly monitored. Many patients want to undergo surgery at UCSD and are very receptive to learning about the safety measures in place, according to Ms. Rhodes. "Coming to our facilities to work or for surgical care is safer than being out in the community," says Ms. Rhodes. "We operate with an abundance of cau- tion and attention to detail, and take staff and patient safety very seriously. It's what we've always done, and it's what we'll continue to do." "We know that this pandemic is not going away and that we're seeing spikes in different places," says Mr. Prentice. "The difference between April and August is we have more experience now and know what we can do with screening, testing and social distancing to operate safely. I think policy- makers see that." Says Dr. Berger, "There are no good medical rea- sons to cancel elective procedures, and I'd never put myself in harm's way. I'm performing surgery because I know it's safe to do so and because I want to help my patients." OSM

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