Memorial Health Systems Postpones Elective Surgeries, Initiates Triage Protocols

By Benjamin Cox on March 18, 2020 at 9:25am

Memorial Health Systems announced yesterday that all elective and non-emergency surgeries are being postponed. Patients will be notified by their primary care physicians of when to possibly reschedule the surgeries at a later time. All non-essential appointments will also be canceled at their hospitals beginning today. Postponements will include cardiac procedures or gastro-intestinal procedures such as colonoscopies and endoscopies that can be delayed without compromising patients’ health, and any and all cosmetic procedures.

They also announced yesterday that they have begun triage protocol outside of most of their emergency rooms. The protocol will allow the hospitals in the Memorial system to screen for potential COVID-19 cases. Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville is currently working on setting up their triage protocol. Passavant officials said today that the procedure will be set up either later today or tomorrow. An official announcement will come later today.

Patients will be screened in an area just outside the emergency department of each hospital that currently has the protocol in place. Patients without respiratory symptoms will be screened and sent to the emergency department check-in areas. If a patient has respiratory symptoms, one of the hallmarks of COVID-19, he or she will go to a portable screening bay for assessment. The patient then will be directed to appropriate treatment settings.