Researchers provide lessons learned after nationwide pause of most elective operations during 2020. Curtailing surgical services for even a short time can seriously impact a hospital’s financial security. Maintaining access to surgical care is not all about revenue; it’s about how to efficiently manage surgical patients’ needs

Results of study were presented at the virtual American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2021.

Lessons learned

  • Hospital systems must assess their operations management strategies to optimize the availability of surgical resources for patients with the greatest need.
  • Hospitals need to optimize any excess resource capacity that existed before the pandemic or increase their capacity for performing procedures based on their resources, such as expanding hours for operations.
  • Increase hospital bed and resource capacity through alternate solutions, such as sending an overflow of surgical patients to other patient care units or facilities that can accommodate them.
  • Appropriately triage elective operations following ACS guidelines4 and other published surgical triage tools.
  • Ensure sufficient PPE for health care workers and patients. 
  • Help keep staff healthy by mandating COVID-19 vaccines or frequently testing them against the virus.

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