Elective inpatient surgeries postponed, building access limited
LEWISTON, Maine—To ensure the safety of patients and staff during the rapidly evolving situation involving COVID-19, Central Maine Healthcare is postponing some elective surgeries and limiting access to its buildings, system officials said today.
Starting Monday, some elective surgeries involving overnight stays will be put off until the virus hazard has been reduced. This would include bariatric and some orthopedic procedures. Necessary or required surgeries—Caesarean sections and heart valve repair, for example, would proceed. Same-day procedures like endoscopy and colonoscopy and minimally invasive surgeries, where the patient goes home within several hours, will continue as scheduled. Providers are reaching out to patients with this information.
This new policy will reduce the number of inpatients at the system’s hospitals and free up beds in the case of a surge of patients. It will also reduce the traffic in the hospitals, thus lowering the risk of virus transmission.
The system has also restricted access to its hospitals, prohibiting most visitors and reducing the number of entry points. At Central Maine Medical Center, patient access will be through the main entrance at 60 High Street. Staff access has also been limited, officials said.
“As our hospitals contend with the very real challenge of screening for COVID-19, while caring for our many patients, it made sense to do everything we could to lower the risk of disease transmission in our hospitals,” said John Alexander, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for CMH. “Our top priority is the safety of our patients, our teams and the communities we serve.”
In another risk-prevention move, on Friday, the system started testing patients for COVID-19 and influenza in satellite screening sites set up near their emergency departments.
About Central Maine Healthcare
Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving 400,000 people living in central, western, and mid-coast Maine. CMH’s hospital facilities include Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Bridgton Hospital, and Rumford Hospital. CMH also supports Central Maine Medical Group, a primary and specialty care practice organization. Other system services include the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute, a regional trauma program, LifeFlight of Maine’s southern Maine base, the Central Maine Cancer Center, and other high quality clinical services.
Contact: Kate Carlisle | 207-786-1810 | firstname.lastname@example.org