Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Bring It On- December 2020 - S...

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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T he Oregon Clinic Gastroenterology East at Gateway in Portland shut down in March for nearly two months when the pandemic's initial wave hit the west coast hard. The center's physicians recently worked through the backlog of patients who had their colonoscopy screen- ings postponed during the nation- wide shutdown of elective proce- dures, and now the facility is chip- ping away at a waitlist of new patients. The overwhelming demand for colonoscopies is a good problem to have, but it makes for long and busy days. On a typical morning, the first patient arrives at 6:30 a.m., the first case begins a half-hour later and the last screening typically starts around 4:30 p.m. The nine- and-a-half hours in between are a bustle of activity as patients are moved through procedure rooms and endoscopes are pushed through the reprocessing area. Each physician in the facility per- forms 10 to 14 procedures, which translates into 40 to 50 colono- scopies per day. Four of the facility's six procedure rooms are up and running, with a fifth expected to reopen soon. All patients are required to be tested for COVID- 19 within 72 hours of their scheduled procedures — members of the facility's scheduling staff contact patients before procedures to inform them of the closest testing site. Patients who test negative are asked to self-quarantine at home until their proce- dures. Most patients arrive with completed test results, but the facility has reserved a single proce- dure room for cases involving the small percentage of patients whose results were not returned in time. Staff clean the room thoroughly after procedures and wait 16 minutes for a complete air exchange to occur before bringing in the next patient. It's been a lot for the staff to manage, especially with new requirements such as social distancing — chairs in the facility's waiting area are spaced to ensure patients remain six feet apart — and the 5 6 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 Dan Cook | Editor-in-Chief Bringing Colonoscopies Back Up to Speed Efficient patient care and streamlined endoscope reprocessing are needed to reach pre-pandemic procedure volumes. BRUSH BY Paula McGee cleans a scope before placing it in one of her facility's four automated endoscope reprocessors. Wendy Wellott

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