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OSF Saint Anthony’s brings surgeries, other procedures back

As OSF HealthCare restarts services that had been temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care ministry will have a phased approach to bringing non-emergent procedures and surgical services back online through the end of May.

A phased approach is necessary to ensure there is adequate personal protective equipment available, along with appropriate levels of testing, supplies, and staffing. OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton has reviewed all processes and procedures, ensuring patient safety is at the highest level.

As of May 11, surgeries and interventional procedures are now able to be scheduled at OSF Saint Anthony’s, including surgeries that were previously cancelled or postponed, as well as new elective surgeries.

“It is important to provide the necessary elective health care services our community needs as quickly as possible, but even more important is that we do this in a safe and coordinated manner,” said Ajay Pathak (shown), president, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “Safety has always been priority number one at OSF HealthCare, and we are putting all of our resources into cleaning and disinfecting processes to keep patients and Mission Partners safe from infection.”

OSF Saint Anthony’s is open and safe, the hospital company said. If someone is experiencing signs of a heart attack, stroke, or other emergency situation, call 911 to be treated quickly to have the best recovery results.

Patients coming for a scheduled procedure can expect additional safeguards, including a COVID-19 test 72-hours prior to their appointment. We understand this may impose an inconvenience, but it’s an important step to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Additional safety measures that OSF HealthCare has put in place include:

Whether you have an appointment at a medical practice or are arriving at a hospital, expect to go through a quick screening before you enter.

Some chairs have been removed from waiting areas so patients can sit six feet apart, whenever possible. Toys, reading materials and other objects that cannot be easily cleaned have also been removed.

Separate care zones have been established to serve people coming for elective procedures. The areas have separate entrances to ensure safe passage.

In medical practices, OSF is taking steps to have fewer patients at once, to keep those sick isolated from those who are well, and setting times to see both well and sick patients.

OSF is expanding the time between in-person appointments to allow deeper, more stringent cleaning and disinfecting between patients.

OSF has expanded its video conferencing technology, using virtual visits to allow patients to meet face-to-face with their providers from the comfort of home.

All care teams are screened daily at the start of their shifts with temperature checks.

As has been the case since May 1, OSF HealthCare requires anyone entering an OSF facility to wear a mask. Exceptions are made for those younger than two or those with medical conditions that prohibit wearing a mask. OSF HealthCare seeks to partner with you and those who visit and support you. At this time, the safety of each person in our communities requires us to limit visitors. Patients who need mobility assistance, women giving birth, pediatric care, and end-of-life situations are all exceptions. There are critical situations where we will offer guidance and direction.

Patients are encouraged to include family members or other supporters in their care by having them connect over the phone. Additionally, OSF care teams can suggest an array of communication tools and technologies.

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