Southlake has developed a plan to gradually resume elective and scheduled procedures and surgeries while keeping patient and staff safety top of mind. The Ontario Health Central Region has approved Southlake to move ahead with the first phase of the plan to resume gradually.
Back in mid-March, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health directed hospitals to decrease scheduled surgeries to create capacity for a potential surge of patients with COVID-19. Because there are still new cases of COVID-19 in the communities Southlake serves, the plan will balance gradually resuming clinical activities and services with a focus on safety and equity.
As the number of cases of COVID-19 in the community decreases, Southlake will have more inpatient capacity to focus resources to resume procedures.
Patients and families are being contacted to reschedule a previously cancelled surgery, procedure or appointment. Your surgeon’s office will be in touch with you when they are able to book your surgery.
“We know that it has been difficult for patients and families who are waiting for surgeries and other care. We are working to safely resume and ask for your patience, as we know this will be a gradual process. A shift to virtual care will be part of our new way forward to help safely connect with patients and families and reduce the number of times they need to come in to the hospital,” said Arden Krystal, Southlake President and CEO.
The first phase of the plan to resume services with a focus on outpatients including those who do not require an overnight hospital say. A key priority is efficient screening and registration processes for patients and families.
Everyone who comes to the hospital will be asked to respect physical distancing. Discharge processes are being streamlined to support smooth transitions for patients when they leave the hospital.
“This has been challenging and stressful time and we are doing everything we can to resume our surgical cases and our clinical activities safely,” said Dr. Julius Toth, Physician Leader of the Surgical Program.
During the pandemic, Southlake has worked closely with its partners in the Southlake Community Ontario Health Team. This will continue as we plan to gradually resume additional services. The goal is to expand Southlake@home to support groups of surgical patients with specific needs and working with Home and Community Care to ensure patients have a smooth transition out of hospital.
Southlake reminds patients, families and the communities we serve to be diligent in continuing to follow public health guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
Tips for patients and families:
- If you are waiting for surgery, it is important that you are following public health guidelines and recommendations to slow the spread of the virus.
- For those who are waiting for surgery and are contacted with a date for surgery, you will likely be asked to self-isolate for 14 days before your procedure. You will also be asked to get tested for COVID-19 in advance and will be screened for symptoms. This is for your safety and the safety of our staff, physicians and other patients. If you contract COVID-19 during this time, the surgical procedure will need to be rescheduled.
- Your care team will contact you with all the details and can answer any questions you have about what we are doing to create a safe place for you to receive care. Because visitors are restricted at this time, we encourage you to bring a mobile phone to communicate with your family or loved ones. For those who have special needs please let your care team know in advance when they call you.
- Virtual visits, virtual registration and screening questions will be provided to you in advance of your appointment to reduce the time you need to spend at the Welcome Centre. This will also streamline the process to avoid line-ups.
- You can also review your screening form by clicking here.