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Elective Surgery FAQs

Is it now safe to have a surgery or procedure at Saint Michael’s Medical Center?

Yes. Saint Michael’s continues its focus on patient safety. The hospital has been awarded an A for Hospital Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group for the last four periods and received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. As we always have, our teams will continue to provide a safe environment for those patients entrusting us with their care. All surgery patients will be required to undergo a preoperative screening process to reduce the risk of infection. Patients are encouraged to consult with their physician to address safety questions and the best timing for scheduling a specific surgery.

Should I consider surgery for myself or a family member? If so, when?

Yes. Patients are encouraged by their physician’s office or the Saint Michael’s Medical Center Outpatient Surgery Department at 973-877-2321. Elective same-day surgeries will resume on May 26. The department will be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inpatient elective surgeries are also scheduled to resume on May 26.

Do you have enough staff to resume elective/non-urgent procedures?

Our team regularly monitors staffing levels to ensure a safe environment for all patients, providers and employees. In addition, we screen all employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms. We are confident that we have the appropriate staff and providers to resume elective and non-urgent procedures while also accommodating our normal emergency care and potential COVID-19 patients.

What is the Patient Preoperative Screening Process?

All elective surgery patients will be tested for COVID-19 about 48 to 72 hours prior to surgery. Patients testing negative will be required to self-isolate at home in the days prior to surgery. Upon return to the hospital for surgery, patients will be screened and have their temperature assessed prior to admission. Patients testing positive will have their surgeries rescheduled to a later date when they are no longer at risk for spreading the virus. These patients will be required to repeat the preoperative screening process and receive a negative test reading prior to surgery.

What questions will I be asked during the screening?

The questions are part of our standard COVID-19 screening process and include asking if you have….

  • Fever over 100.0
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Been in close contact with a person who has suspected or confirmed COVID 19?
  • Developed any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while in self-quarantine?

Whenever you are asked, please answer these screening questions honestly. If your procedure must be postponed, it will be just that: postponed. It does not mean it will be canceled, and we will work with you to reschedule as soon as possible. Patients will be asked to use hand sanitizer and must wear a mask at all times.

What should I do if I have a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19 the day of my surgery?

If you develop a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19 the day of your surgery, please contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

Can I get infected from a COVID-19 patient at the hospital?

The risk of getting infected from a COVID-19 patient is extremely low. All COVID-19 patients are isolated in a separate area of the hospital and you will not come in contact with them during any part of your procedure. Saint Michael’s follows strict guidelines to prevent the infection from spreading from areas of the hospital where COVID-19 patients are being treated.

How is Saint Michael’s cleaned to ensure my safety and the safety of others?

One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the cleanliness of our physical facility. Our Environmental Services team disinfects ALL equipment, reception and waiting areas, restrooms, chairs, door handles, elevator buttons and other hard surfaces regularly throughout the day.

Do I need a mask during my visit to the hospital?

Yes. All surgery patients are required to wear a mask and hand sanitize when they enter the building. Individuals who pass through a hospital screening station will be provided a mask if they do not already have one available.

How can I be sure my healthcare providers are not positive for COVID-19?

Saint Michael’s complies with the latest CDC guidance on return to work for healthcare personnel with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Details can be found here.

Should I postpone my elective surgery until a later date?

Elective surgery does not mean optional surgery. Postponing elective surgery can have more dramatic and immeasurable impact. A current estimate suggests that more than 50% of all elective surgical cases have a potential to inflict significant harm on patients if cancelled or delayed. Please make sure you discuss this important decision with your healthcare provider and loved ones.