Due to the continued and sharply increasing number of people requiring hospital care, in part due to COVID-19 infections, beginning today, Nebraska Medicine will postpone surgeries that can safely be delayed up to 4 weeks or up to 12 weeks depending on the patient's condition, Nebraska Medicine CEO James Linder, MD, announced in memo to hospital staff on Friday.
The procedures to be postponed are scheduled at Nebraska Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center. The goal of the postponement is to reduce the number of people who require hospital care and to preserve space for patients with critical needs, both with COVID and non-COVID conditions.
"There is still a significant need for hospital care for people with conditions not related to the pandemic," Dr. Linder said in the memo.
Outpatient surgeries at Village Pointe and Lauritzen Outpatient Center will continue, as will screenings and outpatient procedures such as endoscopy and cardiac catheterization procedures, as long as these activities can be safely staffed and supported, Dr. Linder said.
Surgeons' offices will directly contact patients who will have operations postponed.
Nebraska Medicine has also updated its visitation policy.
Visitors to inpatients will be allowed only from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. As before, all visitors must undergo screening and must wear a mask at all times. Those working in Nebraska Medicine hospitals will hear a message on the public address system every hour, during visiting hours, reminding everyone that masks are required. The visitation policy is updated on the Nebraska Medicine website.
Dr. Linder also thanked Nebraska Medicine staff "for your continued resilience and dedication to providing our patients extraordinary care."
It would be great if outpatient surgery could continue. I understand that nursing shortages may also limit this possibility.