St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System to test all surgical patients

St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System to test all surgical patients

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System is slowly returning back to business.

They started rescheduling elective surgeries just weeks ago, but now are implementing new protocols to ensure safety and bring peace of mind for patients.

St Joseph’s/Candler will begin COVID testing for all of their patients getting surgery before their procedures stating on Monday. They say this is something they are looking to do to ensure safety and security for everyone.

“We’re ready. I’ll just have to say you can come in to St. Joseph’s/Candler right now and you can feel safe. We just want you to worry about getting here, recovering and getting back to your activities of daily living and we’ll take care of the care,” said St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System CEO Paul Hinchey.

St. Joseph's/Candler Health System can do 24-hour testing during pre-screening or offer rapid in house testing that takes just 45 minutes for their patients.

Since Monday their lab has run 50 rapid tests for patients. They began bringing back elective surgeries about two weeks ago.

CEO Paul Hinchey says they’ve seen a number of patients already schedule surgeries and are back to about 60 percwnt capacity. That helps their financial future.

The health system never furloughed workers, but Hinchey admits April was tough, but says the hit won’t be long lasting.

“We’ll still have a little rocky road in May a little rocky road in June and then the bounce back in July, but what’s fortunate is because we’re financially responsible here, we’ve been able to keep money in the bank so to speak.”

Ultimately their decision to return to services had nothing to do with finances, but a true belief they are in a downward trend. They have just eight COVID positive patients admitted, but stand ready if a resurgence of cases were to come.

Leaders say have the testing, PPE, and staff to handle it.

“It won’t be as traumatic for all of us as it was and the other factor is all the supplies are in the vault right now.”

While the hospital is looking at a gradual return, they hope to see their normal capacity by later this summer.

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