Memorial Health System To Resume Many
Surgeries, Medical Visits Delayed By COVID-19 Pandemic
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[September 23, 2020]
Memorial Health System, in accordance with
guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, on May 11
will begin resuming many surgeries and other medical procedures and
visits that had been postponed during the initial stages of the
response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As always, the safety of our patients and
caregivers is our first priority, and we are confident these new
guidelines will protect everyone involved,” said Dr. Raj Govindaiah,
chief medical officer for Memorial Health System.
All patients will be required to wear masks upon arriving at any
Memorial Health System facility, and will undergo a health
screening, including a temperature check, before entering.
Patients who are having surgery must test negative for COVID-19
within 72 hours prior to the procedure. The COVID-19 test will
be scheduled by Memorial Health System as part of preoperative
procedures. After being tested, the patient should self-quarantine,
stay at home and practice social distancing until his or her
The state guidelines also require that patients have only one
support person, who may not wait at the hospital during the
procedure. The support person will be provided information on how to
receive updates, and will be provided discharge and post-procedure
care information when picking up the patient. If the patient must
stay overnight, the support person must leave the hospital after
speaking with the surgeon.
Govindaiah noted that surgeries and procedures that were not
medically postponable have been performed throughout the COVID-19
crisis. “We continue to urge all central Illinois residents to
consult with their health-care providers on any medical issues to
develop an appropriate plan of care,” he said.
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In addition, Memorial Physician Services will
begin broadening access to visits with its health-care providers
beyond what has been available during the COVID-19 emergency. To
maintain social distancing, patients will register by phone and
notify the office when they arrive for their appointment. Patients
will be escorted directly to the clinical area, bypassing the
waiting room whenever possible.
In addition to traditional in-person visits, Memorial providers will
use telephonic, telehealth and virtual technology to enhance the
availability and safety of care for patients who are appropriate.
Drive-up laboratory testing also will be offered at several
locations and hospitals.
“Improving the health of the people and communities we serve is why
we exist as an organization,” said Jay Roszhart, president of MHS’
ambulatory group. “This array of options will allow us to continue
to treat and care for our community while maintaining a safe
environment for our patients and colleagues.”
Health-care providers are continuing to contact patients to
reschedule procedures and visits that had been postponed. Patients
with questions, or anyone experiencing a health issue, should
contact their provider’s office for guidance.
[Dean Olsen | Media Relations
Consultant | Communications
Memorial Health System]