What to Expect on Your Procedure Day During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily upended many parts of our community, and it has greatly impacted patients scheduled for elective, outpatient procedures. At Mobile Anesthesiologists our primary focus is this patient population, and we want to assure you that we are taking the situation very seriously.
When IDPH and CDC recently issued guidance that it is reasonable for office-based and outpatient elective procedures to resume, Mobile Anesthesiologists began taking critical steps to ensure that our process is safe for both patients and staff members. First, we now screen all scheduled patients by telephone for COVID-like symptoms or known exposure. Then, on the procedure day, a staff member takes the temperature of each person entering the building, including patients, medical personnel, and office staff members.
Once you (the patient) enter the facility, you will notice that staff members are wearing surgical masks. Don’t worry, though: you will still be able to see our faces on our ID badges! Because wearing masks helps protect all of us from others—even those who have an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection—we recommend that you wear a mask to the site on your procedure day. Similarly, we invite you to use the hand sanitizer available at our centers. By pretending that a COVID-positive person is in the facility, we can all remember that reducing virus transmission is the top priority.
During the check-in process, we will ask you to place your belongings into a single-use plastic bag. After our nurse reviews your medical history and starts an IV, you will meet your anesthesiologist and then move on the stretcher into the procedure room. During all procedures the involved staff members will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE). This will include, at a minimum, a face mask, gown, and gloves. During certain procedures, medical personnel will also wear a face shield/goggles and hair covering. We will place you on the monitor, position you for the procedure, and do a final group safety check. The anesthesiologist will then administer sedation through your IV, and he/she will monitor you closely throughout the procedure. Once the procedure finishes, we will wheel you to the recovery area.
We want you to know that Mobile Anesthesiologists and our partners are taking COVID-19 very seriously and that we have your safety and comfort in mind as we follow these new protocols. We understand that you may have been waiting for several months to have your procedure, and we plan to make sure your procedure day goes smoothly. If you have any questions about the logistics of your procedure experience, please write them down so that you can ask them during the pre-op phone screening. Otherwise, we will be happy to answer your questions on the day of the procedure.
Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare during this challenging time, and we look forward to guiding you safely through your procedure day.
Christian Altman, MD, MPH