Post COVID-19 Elective Surgery FAQs
Is it now safe to have a surgery or procedure at Saint Michael’s
Yes. Saint Michael’s continues its focus on patient safety. The hospital
has been awarded an
A for Hospital Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group for the last four periods and received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. As we always
have, our teams will continue to provide a safe environment for those
patients entrusting us with their care. All surgery patients will be required
to undergo a preoperative screening process to reduce the risk of infection.
Patients are encouraged to consult with their physician to address safety
questions and the best timing for scheduling a specific surgery.
Should I consider surgery for myself or a family member? If so, when?
Yes. Patients are encouraged by their physician’s office or the Saint
Michael’s Medical Center Outpatient Surgery Department at 973-877-2321.
Elective same-day surgeries will resume on May 26. The department will
be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inpatient elective surgeries are also scheduled
to resume on May 26.
Do you have enough staff to resume elective/non-urgent procedures?
Our team regularly monitors staffing levels to ensure a safe environment
for all patients, providers and employees. In addition, we screen all
employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms. We are confident that we have the
appropriate staff and providers to resume elective and non-urgent procedures
while also accommodating our normal emergency care and potential COVID-19 patients.
What is the Patient Preoperative Screening Process?
All elective surgery patients will be tested for COVID-19 about 48 to 72
hours prior to surgery. Patients testing negative will be required to
self-isolate at home in the days prior to surgery. Upon return to the
hospital for surgery, patients will be screened and have their temperature
assessed prior to admission. Patients testing positive will have their
surgeries rescheduled to a later date when they are no longer at risk
for spreading the virus. These patients will be required to repeat the
preoperative screening process and receive a negative test reading prior
What questions will I be asked during the screening?
The questions are part of our standard COVID-19 screening process and
include asking if you have….
- Fever over 100.0
- Shortness of Breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Been in close contact with a person who has suspected or confirmed COVID 19?
- Developed any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while in self-quarantine?
Whenever you are asked, please answer these screening questions honestly.
If your procedure must be postponed, it will be just that: postponed.
It does not mean it will be canceled, and we will work with you to reschedule
as soon as possible. Patients will be asked to use hand sanitizer and
must wear a mask at all times.
What should I do if I have a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19 the day
of my surgery?
If you develop a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19 the day of your surgery,
please contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
Can I get infected from a COVID-19 patient at the hospital?
The risk of getting infected from a COVID-19 patient is extremely low.
All COVID-19 patients are isolated in a separate area of the hospital
and you will not come in contact with them during any part of your procedure.
Saint Michael’s follows strict guidelines to prevent the infection
from spreading from areas of the hospital where COVID-19 patients are
How is Saint Michael’s cleaned to ensure my safety and the safety
One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the
cleanliness of our physical facility. Our Environmental Services team
disinfects ALL equipment, reception and waiting areas, restrooms, chairs,
door handles, elevator buttons and other hard surfaces regularly throughout the day.
Do I need a mask during my visit to the hospital?
Yes. All surgery patients are required to wear a mask and hand sanitize
when they enter the building. Individuals who pass through a hospital
screening station will be provided a mask if they do not already have
How can I be sure my healthcare providers are not positive for COVID-19?
Saint Michael’s complies with the latest CDC guidance on return to
work for healthcare personnel with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Details
can be found
Should I postpone my elective surgery until a later date?
Elective surgery does not mean optional surgery. Postponing elective surgery
can have more dramatic and immeasurable impact. A
current estimate suggests that more than 50% of all elective surgical cases have a potential to
inflict significant harm on patients if cancelled or delayed. Please make
sure you discuss this important decision with your healthcare provider
and loved ones.