On March 26, 2020, Governor Reynolds issued an emergency proclamation mandating the postponement of all non-essential surgeries and procedures that require the use of personal protective equipment (“PPE”).
Definition of non-essential
A “non-essential surgery or procedure” is defined as one that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient, considering all appropriate factors including, but not limited to any:
- threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is not performed;
- threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
- risk of metastasis or progression of staging; and
- risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.
In areas where PPE is required, only individuals essential to the surgery or procedure are allowed to be present.
We recommend hospitals and surgery centers work with their surgeons and medical staff to devise a process to ensure the Governor’s proclamation is followed. This should include a certification from the treating physician/surgeon that the surgery or procedure falls within one of the exceptions noted above with a detailed explanation of the physician’s reasoning. The certification and accompanying documentation should be maintained in the patient’s medical record. We recommend deference be given to the treating physician’s opinion; however, the hospital and surgery center should be mindful of potential abuses and develop an internal process for review to ensure hospital or surgery center resources are appropriately utilized and exposure risk mitigated.
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