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CHRISTUS continuing elective outpatient procedures within reason

CHRISTUS is aware of Governor Abbott’s order relating to the need for increased hospital capacity during the COVID-19 disaster.

Hospital officials want to ensure those in need of care from CHRISTUS are not unnecessarily harmed or forced to delay needed procedures.

The governor’s order allows all elective procedures to continue at facilities that can ensure they would not “deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with COVID-19.”

Therefore, CHRISTUS expects elective outpatient procedures, meaning those that do not require overnight hospital stay, to continue at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System facilities, as they will not deplete hospital capacity for COVID patients.

“In addition, since the start of the pandemic, we have designated physician review teams at all our CHRISTUS facilities to closely consider proposed inpatient elective surgeries, those requiring a multiple day stay in the hospital, to determine what course of action is in the best interest of the patient,” a CHRISTUS statement read. “

“We completely understand and support the governor’s efforts to preserve critical hospital capacity needed to treat possible COVID-19 positive patients. Indeed, for the past several months and continuing today, we have made extensive efforts to ensure the availability of hospital capacity throughout the pandemic.”

Hospital leaders said it is critically important to avoid delaying certain procedures related to heart disease, cancer, vision problems and pain management that could cause undue medical hardships for many patients. In many cases, such procedures not only help to improve quality of life, they actually extend the patient’s life.

Delaying or deferring these procedures for an extended period of time may also have the adverse effect of causing a surge in non-COVID-19 related illnesses.

Under this program, CHRISTUS staff have been screened and tested as appropriate for COVID-19.

They also screen for asymptomatic COVID-19 infection among Associates, physicians and surgical patients through antibody testing.

Everyone entering the facilities is required to wear a mask.

“There is critical work that needs to be done in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in our communities, and CHRISTUS Southeast Texas is here to answer the call to help – today and tomorrow,” CHRISTUS said. “In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping our community, our caregivers and our Associates safe. We are here and ready when you need care.”