ET: Doctor, I understand Avera has started doing orthopedic procedures again?
Dr. Ambrose: "That's correct we actually started this past Monday. I suppose since today is Tuesday, would've been yesterday we were back in the swing of things."
ET: What is the process for patients who may have had their procedure postponed?
Dr. Ambrose: "So everyone that's coming into the facility is being screened by a questionnaire as well as having their temperature taken by a thermal scanner. Anybody with any positive responses to the questionnaire or a elevated temperature is asked to contact their primary care doctor and to not enter the facility. I'd like to point out that that Avera Specialty Hospital has never been a COVID-19 facility, we've never treated any COVID-19 patients so we have a minimal chance of any exposure in this facility."
ET: What can patients expect when they come in for surgery?
Dr. Ambrose: "Everyone will be placed in a mask to protect not only themselves but the health care professionals that they'll come into contact with. All of the health care professionals that they'll see will also be in masks. There will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility, and we encourage frequent hand sanitization."
ET: And what tips do you have for your patients to help them better prepare?
Dr. Ambrose: "Well the first is if you are sick. call your primary care provider and do not enter the facility. And that goes for employees as well as the patients. We can anticipate that there will be limited visiting of family members so you might be prepared to come with one family member who will spend a limited amount time in the facility with you. You can also anticipate that your turnaround in the facility will be very brisk. Most patients that we are scheduling now will be discharged the day after, so only an overnight in the facility."
ET: Anything you would like to add?
Dr. Ambrose: "We are anxious to get back to normal or as near to normal as possible. And we're looking forward to seeing more and more patients resume orthopedic care."