• April 29, 2020

    Rome Memorial Hospital enhances workflows
    to provide safest environment for surgical patients

    In collaboration with its physicians, Rome Memorial Hospital has developed a plan to safely resume elective procedures by redesigning workflows to test patients for COVID-19 before surgery and designating separate entrances, elevators, units and staff for patients’ enhanced safety, announced President/Chief Executive Officer Mark Murphy, RN, NP.

    “As a community hospital, Rome Memorial Hospital is uniquely positioned because of its agility and infrastructure to provide the safest environment for our patients, physicians and staff,” Murphy said. The hospital’s plan was developed in accordance with the guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College of Surgeons.

    “We now have the capability to do rapid COVID-19 testing to test patients prior to a surgical procedure to minimize risks,” he said. “In addition, our teams have refined our workflows and processes to enhance the hospital’s already stringent infection prevention strategies.” 

    Enhanced Patient Safety 

    • Using drive-through specimen collection to test for COVID prior to surgery.
    • Designating a separate entrance and elevator for patients to use on the day of surgery to limit their encounters with other people.
    • Assigning patients to a surgical unit on a different floor separate from patients who may be hospitalized with an infectious disease.
    • Utilizing staffing patterns that ensure staff assigned to care for suspected or positive COVID-19 patients don’t float into a unit caring for any elective surgery patient.

    “We have been consistently screening everyone who enters our facility, including patients and staff, for fever and respiratory symptoms. In addition, masks or face covers are required,” Murphy said. “This proactive approach has enabled us to successfully protect our patients, staff, and community through the COVID pandemic.”

    “We have assembled a physician council to prioritize patients who have been awaiting surgery based upon their clinical indication,” Murphy said. “Because each patient’s surgical circumstances are unique, we have been working closely with our physicians to support them in determining the best timing of surgery.”

    With the statewide numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients declining, the state is permitting hospitals that have the capacity and resources to resume elective procedures in regions without significant risk of a COVID-19 surge.

    Based upon recent trends, Rome’s available capacity will allow the hospital to shift its resources to focus on other community needs. “Rome has had a very small number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the last 10 days and we expect that downward trend to continue,” Murphy said.

    Rome Memorial Hospital is nationally recognized as a leader in infection prevention and patient safety. Its surgeons embrace evidence-based practices to provide patients with the best possible outcomes.

    A broad range of surgical procedures are available at Rome Memorial Hospital from minimally invasive spine surgery to laparoscopic hernia repair. Specialists who have privileges at Rome Memorial Hospital are listed on the hospital’s website at www.romehospital.org/Specialists/.

    About Rome Memorial Hospital
    Rome Memorial Hospital, Inc., (RMH) Rome Memorial Hospital is a non-profit health care system based in Rome, N.Y., providing services to patients throughout Central New York. From primary care to long-term care, Rome Memorial Hospital delivers quality, compassionate medical care for every stage of life. With its specialized Senior Behavioral Health Unit and Residential Health Care Facility, the hospital has become recognized as a valuable resource for senior services. Ranked among the top 20 percent of skilled nursing facilities for five consecutive years, the hospital has earned special designation as a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) facility for providing quality care for older adult patients. Rome Memorial Hospital is an affiliate of St. Joseph’s Health and an affiliated clinical site of New York Medical College.