Orthopedic surgeons around the globe are working hard to navigate the healthcare system during and as we start to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, a group of orthopedic surgeons and medical experts got together to share their thoughts about how we can best proceed as surgeries start back up and patients return to medical offices.
You can check out the full presentation here, but we thought it would be a good idea to list some of the main takeaways from the presentation, especially because their thoughts fall in line with what we plan to practice as surgeries begin again. Below is a recap of the presentation “Ortho & Spine Surgery In The Times Of COVID-19.”
Returning To Normalcy And Keeping Patients Safe
Here’s a look at some of the takeaway points of how we can safely reopen our clinics and get back to providing care for patients undergoing necessary and elective surgeries.
1. Postpone Elective Surgeries For The Time Being – Until we learn more and can safely see how some countries and facilities are performing safe elective surgeries, we should postpone most elective surgeries. Elective surgeries can wait, so there’s no need to rush into an operation when we’re still learning the best ways to keep patients safe when the surgery isn’t necessary in the moment.
2. Patient Screening – We need to make sure that we’re effectively screening patients who are coming into our clinics as we’re allowed to have more patients in house. Temperature checks, symptom screening, patient questionnaires, etc. We need to do everything we can to ensure only healthy patients come into the clinic to minimize the spread to others.
3. Prioritize Elective Surgeries – Even though they are all categorized as elective, all elective surgeries aren’t the same. Doctors need to prioritize patients for these operations in a safe manner. They need to consider who needs them most, their COVID-19 risk, their potential for complications and whether or not postponing the operation longer could put their condition in a more difficult state to operate on in the future.
4. Keep Learning – The landscape of elective surgery is always changing during the pandemic, and we need to be ready to adapt as we continue to learn more about the virus. Every day doctors and healthcare providers need to research new critically-sourced information to ensure our patients are getting the care they deserve.
5. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize – Finally, we need to make sure we’re sanitizing as much as we can between patients. Cleaning our lobbies, our waiting rooms and our exam rooms at regular intervals is essential for helping to decrease the ability of germs to spread between patients.