Coronavirus: Surgical update

Non-essential surgery update: March 20
Beaumont has postponed non-essential surgeries until after May 1. We started notifying patients on March 16 of this change. We are also not booking any new non-essential surgeries until after May 1. If a physician or a surgeon thinks a patient surgery is essential, our physician leadership will evaluate the request and determine whether to allow the surgery to proceed.

Guidelines for elective surgeries

Beaumont Health has developed robust plans to serve our patients during this unprecedented time. The situation is fluid, and we are continually reassessing it.

The U.S. Surgeon General recently advised hospitals to cancel elective surgeries because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, we will place surgeries into two categories: essential and non-essential.

Although some physicians have voluntarily canceled cases, Beaumont will not require physicians to cancel cases on Monday, March 16. We are committed to the well-being of our patients and community. Therefore, we will attempt to accommodate patients who are scheduled for surgeries tomorrow.

However, given the circumstances and our deep commitment to public health and safety, we will start canceling non-essential surgeries on Tuesday, March 17, or sooner, if necessary.

A physician-led task force, chaired by Drs. Jeff Fischgrund and Mark Frikker, developed guidelines in response to the Surgeon General’s recommendation. The task force also includes chief medical officers, surgeons and anesthesiologists from our acute care campuses as well as their operational partners.

  • The guidelines emphasize patient safety and quality, while also considering inpatient capacity, patient flow and resources.
  • They may change as the situation evolves. We will make exceptions and evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
  • Leaders are working diligently to create lists of procedures to serve as the guidelines for what should or should not be delayed until the threat passes.
  • Leaders will work daily to consider procedures on a case-by-case basis, as needed.
  • Some procedures, though deemed essential, might be shifted to venues not actively caring for COVID-19 patients to conserve beds and resources.
The word “pandemic” is not used often and should not be taken lightly. We know surgeons, staff, and patients will exhibit forbearance as we try to do what is best for the patients we serve.

We are also talking with other health systems and working together with them. We are not competitors right now. We are collaborators. We must share best practices with each other to serve our community.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and service to our patients.

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