By Jacqueline Wilson
Following newly released COVID-19 guidelines announced by state and local health officials, Lehigh Regional Medical Center, a member of Prime Healthcare, has resumed elective surgeries and procedures.
Jacklyn Arsenault, Director for Business Development at Lehigh Regional Medical Center said a careful and structured move toward restarting clinical care operations and procedures has started to address the needs of the community and expand access to medical and surgical care. The hospital is following guidelines and a roadmap that were established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, and the American Hospital Association.
“The hospital will be carefully monitoring the virus’s ongoing impact on the community and will maintain its ability to properly respond to the coronavirus as we begin serving patients with the essential care they need,” said Jacklyn. “We want to assure our patients and community that we are implementing best practices and will do everything we can to keep them safe.”
A committee of physicians and other clinical leaders at Lehigh Regional Medical Center was formed to ensure the safe resumption of essential health care services, including non-emergent surgeries and procedures. Staff and patients will be screened and tested for COVID-19 prior to any surgery. Steps are taken to minimize any risks and make certain that COVID-19 patients are isolated from non-COVID-19 patients. New policies have been developed and will be re-evaluated and reassessed as needed.
Gary Bell, Regional CEO of Prime Healthcare, said patient safety remains the highest priority at all Prime hospitals and that supplies of personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, and gloves are more than adequate to treat both COVID-19 patients and those undergoing important elective procedures and surgeries.
“Resuming these important services is essential to our mission of providing quality, community healthcare,” said Gary. “As a health system, Prime remains committed to conserving critical supplies, being vigilant in our fight against COVID-19 and its evolving impact, and ensuring that our facilities are safe places for all patients, providers, and staff,” said Gary.
In addition, stay-at-home orders issued by public health agencies make exceptions for those in need of other emergency medical treatments, and the hospital’s Emergency Department remains open for all those seeking emergency care. Following physical distancing guidelines for COVID-19 does not mean ignoring the signs or symptoms of other medical emergencies.
“Those experiencing signs of a stroke or other medical illness, such as difficulty breathing or sudden muscle weakness, should still call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately,” said Gary. “We are well prepared to handle non-COVID emergencies as well as able to deal with an influx of potential COVID-19 cases, and are following all state, local and federal guidelines to safeguard our staff and other patients from exposure.”
Lehigh Regional Medical Center is dedicated to providing compassionate, quality care to patients and excellent healthcare to the communities that we serve. It’s this dedication to exceptional patient care that has led Lehigh Regional Medical Center to receive numerous awards for quality and patient safety. Lehigh Regional Medical Center is fully accredited and received the Gold Seal of Approval™ by The Joint Commission (TJC). Achievements include the 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award, Top 10% in the Nation for Patient Safety in 2019, Five-Star Recipient for the Treatment of Sepsis, and Hip Fracture Treatment in 2020, and Five-Star Recipient for Gallbladder Removal Surgery for 4 Years in a Row (2017-2020).
The facility is recognized by The Joint Commission as one of the Top Performers on Key Quality Measures 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and was recognized by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) for Quality Respiratory Care Laboratory Services are fully accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).