On March 19, Ontario hospitals were asked to stop or reduce non urgent surgeries and outpatient services where possible to be able to dedicate all efforts to COVID care.
Some of these restrictions have recently been lifted. On June 15, we started to re-open surgery to accommodate non urgent procedures, slowly and carefully.
With a successful restart of surgery behind us, we are moving forward with the next phase: re-opening some of our outpatient clinics. At Grand River Hospital, we are starting slowly, and with a few clinics so that we can assess our progress, continue to support physical distancing and limit the number of people coming to the hospital. We are beginning to re-open:
- Medical Imaging
- EEG and EMG
- Neuro rehab
- Bundled care OP clinic
- Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic and urgent neurology
We are starting with these services because the work they do supports care decisions that are made in other areas of the hospital, or they have patients with urgent needs who require an in-person assessment.
We are re-opening gradually so that we can ensure that we have the space, staff, medications and personal protective equipment that we need to support each surgery and clinic, and care that is being provided in other areas of the hospital.
The clinic where I receive care is not on this list? When will mine re-open?
We will continue to assess how we can increase the services that we provide, safely. Updates will be provided here on our website, and through our social media channels. Also, as clinics re-open, staff will contact patients directly.
Most clinics have still been providing care virtually. We will continue to do this where possible and have put in place other processes to support health and wellness of those who need to come to the hospital, including physical distancing.
I am waiting for surgery. What happens next?
Local surgeons will begin booking surgeries with the hospital and contacting patients by phone. Cases will be booked starting with:
1. Cancer and other urgent cases, then
2. Surgeries that were booked, but cancelled because of COVID-19, and then
3. By using surgery wait lists.
If you have questions about when your surgery will be, please reach out to your surgeon’s office directly.
I am booked for my surgery. What happens next?
Once your surgeon has contacted you about a date for your surgery:
1. You may be asked to attend a pre-surgical appointment with the hospital either in person – or virtually/over the phone.
2. Your surgeon will ask you to limit physical contact with others as much as possible for the two weeks leading up to your surgery. This is to limit your exposure to illness and ensure you are healthy to proceed with your surgery.
3. 48-72 hours before your surgery, you will be contacted and screened for COVID-19 over the phone.
4. You will receive a time to arrive at the hospital; please do not come to the hospital early.
5. On the day of your surgery, you will be screened for COVID-19 when you enter the hospital.
At this time, we are still limiting visitors to the hospital. Your support person can drop you off at the door of the hospital and staff will take you to surgery. Following your surgery and recovery, our staff will contact your support person by phone and take you to the hospital entrance to meet them to go home.
**If at any time before your surgery, you develop symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your surgeon’s office to let them know.**
How we are keeping you safe.
We are increasing access to surgery and clinics carefully and slowly. As part of this, we have made changes to enhance the safety of all:
- Appointments will be staggered to reduce the number of people in hospital areas at one time, in support of physical distancing.
- Where possible, clinics will continue to provide care through virtual or over the phone options.
- Hospital spaces have been changed to support physical distancing.
- Health screenings for patients will be increased to ensure wellness and provide immediate support if needed.
- We are still limiting visitors to the hospital at this time. We will work with you to keep your support person(s) informed and - for surgery patients - to connect you with them after your surgery to go home.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org