Augusta Health moving into Phase II, allowing some outpatient surgeries

Air3 takes a look at Augusta Health. | Credit: WHSV
Air3 takes a look at Augusta Health. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 9:23 PM EDT
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After three weeks in

, Augusta Health is moving to Phase II. The hospital is confident they can expand operations while still treating any cases of COVID-19.

"All in all, the Phase I ramp up went as well as you could possibly hope for," Shawn Craddock, Administrative Director of Surgical Services at Augusta Health, said.

The decision to move forward looks at a variety of factors, like bed availability, prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, and the amount of PPE on hand.

"We took all of that into account and determined that it was a good and safe time for us to move forward into Phase II," Craddock said.

Phase II means that people will be able to make appointments for procedures in elective outpatient surgery, endoscopy, Cath Lab, Sleep Lab, and Inpatient/Outpatient Invasive Radiology.

The procedures may require a COVID-19 test that the hospital will coordinate at their Waynesboro Respiratory Assessment Center.

"We have drive thru testing that we're doing for our pre-procedure patients, that way it's really simple, it's easy, it doesn't take a lot of time for the patient," Craddock said.

If the patient tests positive, then they evaluate if the procedure can be postponed until they recover, which is usually about 30 days. Craddock said that protects both the patient and the staff.

"From everything we've seen across the globe, and in this country, that patients who are COVID positive and undergo are at higher risk for negative outcomes post procedure," Craddock said.

The hospital will continue to evaluate current conditions and will decide when to move to Phase III, which will include procedures that require a person to be admitted into the hospital.

Craddock said that will not be for at least two weeks, but is dependent on how conditions continue. If needed, Craddock said they can scale back the phased opening.

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