Elective Surgery Resumes at Rochester Regional Hospitals

Ralph Pennino, MD, discusses the new safety measures in place at surgery centers throughout the Rochester Regional Health system.

May. 28, 2020 4   min read

Surgeon with face mask and face shield

UPDATE: Current protocols for visitation and masking are different than when this article was originally published. To see our current guidance, visit our website.

Rochester Regional Health has been cleared to resume elective surgical procedures by the New York State Department of Health. We are strictly following all safety measures for all patient visits and have made significant updates to our procedures and facilities with our patients’ comfort and safety in mind.

“As the coronavirus alters our lives, our number one priority continues to be the health and safety of our patients,” said Ralph Pennino, MD, SVP Specialty Medicine Services and System Chair of Surgery at Rochester General Hospital.

“We’re taking extreme precautions, like employee and patient health screenings, personal protective equipment for all, physical distancing, high-level cleaning and disinfecting, and a new virtual check in/check out process.”

With surgical volumes starting to pick up close to normal and new safety measures in place, Dr. Pennino says hospitals are still the safest place if you need surgery or are experiencing an emergency.

Learn how we're delivering safe care now

Safety Measures

Rochester Regional Health is committed to providing patients with the best and safest experience and is taking necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Employee Screenings

We screen all employees who are part of our care team before every shift. Staff members who are not feeling well or show signs of COVID-19 symptoms will not provide care nor are they allowed to enter any of our buildings.

Patient Screenings

We are also actively pre-screening and testing all patients three days prior to their scheduled surgery or procedure date. Patients will receive a test for COVID-19, as well as details on where the test is to be completed. Patients notified of their results within 24 hours. If the test comes back positive for COVID-19, and is non-emergent, your procedure we be postponed. This will be done to protect you from serious, life-threatening circumstances.

Face Masks, Face Shields, Gloves

All staff members are wearing face masks, face shields and gloves to ensure our patients are protected and to further limit the spread of COVID-19. We ask that every patient put on a mask or face covering before entering our offices and clinics, and for the duration of their visit.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

We have adopted increasingly robust and stringent cleaning regimens of all patient rooms and waiting areas. Our high-quality cleaning and disinfecting procedures are a large reason why we have been authorized to resume surgical procedures.

Physical Distancing

Because of our community’s commitment to physical distancing, we have helped to flatten the curve locally. To keep that momentum going and in alignment with physical distancing guidelines, we are staggering visits and procedures to avoid any overlaps.

You will not spend long periods with other individuals in our waiting room.

If you find yourself in close proximity to another individual, who is not part of your care team, we ask that you physically distance by staying six feet apart.

No Visitors

We understand this is a stressful period for patients and their loved ones, but it is essential to everyone’s safety that we control the flow of foot traffic in and out of our facilities. We are complying with all state-wide and CDC-recommended safety protocols, which includes a strict no-visitor policy. Unfortunately, you will not be able to bring a visitor with you, unless you are scheduled for a cancer consult or to help assist during your visit (for patients who are disabled). Pediatric patients are allowed one guardian.

Virtual Check In & Check Out

We are transforming care delivery with a virtual check-in and checkout process. Our new virtual experience allows us to pre-register and check-in patients virtually, limiting wait times and reducing foot traffic.

Patient Escort

Patients who arrive for a surgical procedure are to be dropped off at the front entrance where they are met by a hospital-authorized escort wearing protective gear. The patient is then escorted to our registration (if registration has not already been done virtually) and then taken the surgery department.

As we continue to navigate through these unique times, our surgical team will keep you updated on any changes to our procedures.

To book an appointment, please call your doctor’s office.

NEXT STEPS Learn More About our Surgery Services

Our Rochester Regional Surgical Services team provides a broad range of surgical care—from general surgery and plastic surgery to advanced neurosurgery and vascular surgery—and is at the forefront of healthcare.

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