‘Urgent care’ mode: WDMH curtails non-urgent tests, procedures and surgeries

WINCHESTER — Winchester District Memorial Hospital says it is taking further steps to ensure the health and safety of patients and staff by curtailing the number of non-urgent tests, procedures and surgeries.

“Reducing non-urgent care ensures that we are ready to take on potential COVID-19 cases, as the situation continues to evolve,” the hospital also acknowledges in a press release issued last night.

“Postponed” as a consequence are ambulatory clinics, scopes and minor surgical procedures in the operating room, and non-essential diagnostic imaging procedures at WDMH.

The latest escalation of measures  is in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and limits the local hospital to core “urgent care” services such as the emergency department cancer care, which continue to be provided.

“We are responding to this directive in a safe and appropriate manner,” says Cholly Boland, WDMH CEO.

“Physicians at WDMH are reviewing each patient’s situation to ensure we reduce elective procedures and non-emergency services through a phased approach,” adds Dr. Brian Devin, Chief of Staff.

Tests, procedures and surgeries to be postponed will be selected “on a set of clear criteria to carefully consider the healthcare needs of patients while maintaining their safety. Hospital and physician office staff are in the process of notifying patients and will ensure that they have all the information they need regarding their care,” the hospital says.

WDMH banned all visitors to the institution just a couple of days ago — with some exceptions on compassionate grounds — but carried on with regular appointments, tests and surgeries at the time.

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