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COVID admissions impact on elective procedures at Salem Hospital – an update

01 Sep 2021

By: Matt Boles, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Deni Hoover, Chief Surgical Services Officer

As we shared in previous issues, the COVID delta variant continues to spread in our community, coupled with a significant proportion of our population who remain unvaccinated, and we are seeing high census levels persist. Some hospitals in Oregon have announced they will cancel elective procedures for the foreseeable future. At Salem Hospital, we are closely monitoring the situation, analyzing the impact of scheduled surgeries on bed capacity and staffing daily.

Recently, we have had one week in which we did have to cancel or reschedule about 30 total procedures, one week in which we were able to complete all scheduled cases, and in the most recent week, we again have had to cancel or reschedule procedures on most days. The nursing and surgical teams huddle twice daily to prepare for next day’s surgery and procedure schedule, closely balancing bed needs with projections for capacity.  Any affected providers will continue to hear directly from that group, with confirmation in the afternoon prior to the scheduled procedure. We are doing our utmost to only reschedule patients once to minimize impact on their care.

We deeply appreciate the flexibility and commitment of providers and staff as we work to deliver care safely to our community.