Healthcare Providers Asked to Reassess Postponed Surgeries

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ELECTIVE SURGERY ORDER:

Dr. Acton today announced an order that directs healthcare providers in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers to reassess procedures and surgeries that were postponed.

On March 17, Dr. Acton issued an order postponing elective surgeries to conserve critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and to open bed space needed to care for COVID-19 patients.

“Because of Ohio’s hard work to flatten the curve and because of our health care system’s efforts to come together to meet community needs as a team, we have prevented the massive spike of cases that we feared,” said Governor DeWine. “We must now begin the gradual, multi-phased process of reopening, and my first concern is the patients who have had procedures and surgeries delayed.”

The new order directs healthcare professionals to review any postponed procedures or surgeries with their patients. Doctors and patients should consider the current health situations and make a joint decision about whether or not to proceed. New or other chronic conditions that may have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life should also be evaluated.

The order also requires that patients be informed of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the impact during the post-operative recovery process.

“Resuming elective surgeries and procedures will take clinical judgment, and we will rely on our healthcare providers to make responsible decisions as we move forward,” said Governor DeWine. “Patients must have the information necessary to make informed decisions and must pay greater attention to the effectiveness of non-surgical options.”

MENTAL HEALTH CARELINE:

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) announced the launch of a new mental health COVID CareLine for Ohioans.

Trained staff will be available to provide emotional assistance to anyone struggling with mental health concerns due to the ongoing stress of the pandemic.

The number to call is 1-800-720-9616. All calls will be confidential.