OK Dept of Health Issues Elective Surgery Guidelines

Mike Seals - April 22, 2020 5:01 pm

OSDH Issues Guidance for Resuming Elective Surgical Procedures in Oklahoma April 24

In preparation for elective surgeries resuming in Oklahoma on April 24, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today issued the following guidelines for elective surgery centers and hospitals:

 Testing guidelines:

  • Elective surgery centers and hospitals must administer COVID-19 tests in partnership with private labs to test all patients prior to surgery. 
  • Patients should receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of the scheduled procedure.
  • Elective surgery centers and hospitals should not perform an operation on a patient with a medical history of COVID-19 until that patient has received two negative COVID-19 test results. 

PPE guidelines:

  • Employees at elective surgery centers and hospitals, to include reception staff and non-medical support staff, should wear cloth face masks in accordance with CDC guidelines. 
  • Elective surgery centers and hospitals will be responsible for procuring their own personal protective equipment (PPE) for all employees. Centers and hospitals should not perform elective surgeries without proper PPE. 
  • The state’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) supply will be prioritized to health care professionals on the front lines of treating and interacting with COVID-19 positive patients or individuals under investigation for COVID-19.

“Oklahomans across the state have delayed critical procedures to allow our medical system to prepare for new demands as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “As we begin to reintegrate core health care services, OSDH is asking elective surgery centers and hospitals to establish partnerships with private labs to process COVID-19 tests on all patients prior to performing a procedure and to assist us in increasing overall COVID-19 testing across the state. Oklahoma will continue to expand and prioritize its COVID-19 testing resources toward patients hospitalized for COVID-19, for front line essential employees and for the general public with symptoms of COVID-19.”

In accordance with Governor Stitt’s Executive Order amendments, beginning on April 24, any surgical procedure for conditions that are not life-threatening and which, if not provided, would have the potential for increasing morbidity or mortality can be performed in Oklahoma.

All minor medical procedures and non-emergency dental procedures such as outpatient surgeries or procedures for non-life-threatening illnesses may resume May 1.

Medical providers are encouraged to consult the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services and Treatment Recommendations for guidance on what is considered an elective surgery or procedure.


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