Penn State Health will gradually resume procedures

Penn State Health, Highmark Health join forces

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)- Penn State Health announced it will begin to gradually resume patient appointments and non-emergency surgeries. Doctors at Penn State Health say many people have delayed care or potentially compromised their health because of requirements and policies put in place, along with concerns over contacting COVID-19.

“We need to make sure they understand that the risks of delaying care may be even more compromising to their health than some of the challenges with the infection,” said Dr. Peter Dillon, Penn State Health’s executive vice president and chief clinical officer.

Penn State Health says the cancellation of surgeries and other clinic activity means lost revenue, but as patient volumes return so should the revenue to cover hospital expenses. The hospital will continue to screen each patient, test surgical patients regardless of symptoms and designate separate operating rooms for non-COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Levine said in order to restart elective surgeries, facilities should have enough PPE in case of a surge in coronavirus cases. Penn State Health says at this point, the hospital is well supplied.

“The idea is maintaining a steady of predicting the changes of our PPE, the changes in health of the community and anticipating those and making adjustments,” said Dr. Jeffery Held, VP for medical affairs at Penn State Health St. Joseph.

On a daily basis, hospital staff are monitoring case numbers, ICU beds, ventilators and operating rooms, but ready to scale back and resume strict policies if needed. Penn State Health says this will be a gradual change that will happen over the coming weeks. As for visitors, those restrictions still remain in place.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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