With the current surge in COVID-19 in Colorado, Banner Health is limiting the number of voting procedures that are conducted in the interests of conserving hospital resources while medical staff re-treat patients from the pandemic.
In a statement emailed Friday night, Sara Quale, Regional Marketing and Public Relations director for Banner Health, said the health system is also restricting procedures based on state guidelines on electoral procedures and when they should be delayed.
Quale said decisions to postpone proceedings on Friday night will be made on a case-by-case basis.
“The current increase has exceeded the level of spring and has made strong demands on hospital resources,” said Quale. “For this reason, and in order to comply with government instructions, Banner Health has decided to restrict some voting procedures. These decisions are made after in-depth discussions with surgeons about each procedure, with patient safety first. While the procedures we perform are all medically necessary, some can safely be postponed to a later date. “
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado has a 7-day positivity rate of 12.24% on Friday and averages more than 4,300 cases per day over the same time span.
In mid-November, Governor Jared Polis changed the Executive Orders from earlier this year, instructing them to instruct hospitals and licensed outpatient surgery centers owned by hospitals to develop a plan “to reduce or stop voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures, if there is an increase in COVID-19 infections in the county or municipality in which the facility is located. “
The amended ordinance added to the Colorado Department of Health and Public Environment determines the conditions that make up an increase.
Later in the month, Polis issued another executive order empowering CDPHE to direct hospitals and detached emergency rooms to transfer or discontinue admission of patients in response to the current emergency with coronavirus cases in the state.
The latter executive order was issued by the governor on November 23rd.
UCHealth Greeley Hospital. (Photo from Greeley Tribune file)
UCHealth spokeswoman Paula Freund said the healthcare system uses multiple tools to manage its number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. One of these is the postponement of non-emergency planned surgeries and procedural cases that may have resulted in hospitalization and that can safely be delayed.
This practice was conducted “on demand” at UCHealth Greeley Hospital to ensure there were enough beds in the facility for patients.
“By postponing these cases, we are opening these rooms to patients with more urgent needs,” Freund wrote in an email. “Postponing medical care is a difficult decision that must take into account the individual medical needs of each patient.”