COVID-19 The two area health networks, Yale

New Haven Health System and Hart- ford Healthcare, recommended that the ASC remain open to decompress the local hospitals of emergent and urgent cases, Taylor says. “We tele- phone screen every patient within 24 hours of arrival, check their temper- ature prior to entering the building and have prohibited visitors within the ASC.”

The center anticipates

continuing these practices once the emergency declaration is lifted and is investigating serology and point-of- care testing kits becoming available via the US Food and Drug Adminis- tration’s Emergency Use Authoriza- tion. “We maintain a good supply of PPE, have reviewed all infection con- trol practices, and are following all FDA recommendations,” he says.

Joining Forces Against COVID-19 Pandemic

ASCs nationwide come together to help their communities BY SAHELY MUKERJI


s COVID-19 continues to rav- age the US, healthcare workers across the country face shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical gear needed to treat patients. At press time, many surgery centers have shut down temporarily in compliance with their governors’ stay-at-home orders. A few centers continue to perform emergency sur- gery, while the rest are working hard to help their community.

Connecticut ASCs Back in March, a surgery center in Fairfield County, Connecticut, trans- ferred three ventilators to a hospital in the same county, along with PPE, including N95 masks to help protect front line providers in the hospital.

The ASC had cancelled all its cases and closed temporarily. Another cen- ter in the region put together boxes of PPE for their nurses to bring back to the hospital during their shifts to share with their colleagues. A third center coordinated the pickup of PPE with another hospital in Fairfield County,

including masks and shields.

Constitution Surgery Center East, Waterford, Connecticut The ASC made a donation of surgical masks with eye shields to the local fire and ambulance department. “Several of our talented employees are also sewing and donating cloth masks for the local community,” says Robert Taylor, clini- cal director and total joint coordinator.

18 ASC FOCUS JUNE/JULY 2020 | gloves, gowns,

Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center, Kailua- Kona, Hawaii The ASC and Kona Community Hos- pital partnered to collect donated surgical masks and N95 masks. “We have volunteered to be the

donation site to collect items donated by our community,” says Nadine Cal- loway Reese, clinical manager and assistant director of the ASC. “My surgical team inspects the donated items and inventories them for use by our hospital. This has been reward- ing for us to be able to support the hospital and our community.” The center has temporarily sus- pended cases following its governor’s stay-at-home order and was working on creating a protocol for reopening. “Prior to closure, we had increased our screening process with preop and all employees. Now with the commu- nity spread of the virus, we are trying to decide if we will require lab test- ing prior to surgery for all patients. We are also prepared to assist the hospital as needed if there is to be an influx of patients.”

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