What you need to know about the Safety of Elective Surgeries

Published 9:46 am Monday, May 18, 2020

Sponsored by Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi

On April 27, 2020, the executive order on the postponement of elective medical and dental procedures by Governor Tate Reeves was lifted, allowing elective medical and dental procedures to take place. The postponement of elective procedures lasted from April 10, 2020, to April 27, 2020. Baptist North Mississippi has begun procedures and wants to ensure the public they are taking the necessary safety precautions.

“We want to ensure the community that we are prepared as always to meet the health care needs of our patients. Our hospital is safe, and we will keep them informed as we overcome this pandemic,” said Bill Henning, CEO and Administrator of Baptist North Mississippi.

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Baptist is preventing the spread of Covid-19 to patients coming in for surgery and appointments by taking proper precautions for patients, visitors and staff.

Precautions for Patients

“Once we started back with our elective procedures, we implemented COVID 19 testing prior to any surgery or procedure. Patients will come in for testing two days prior to their surgery with the results within 24 hours. Once the patient is cleared for surgery with a negative COVID-19 test, we proceed with the scheduled surgery. We have also started testing all patients admitted to the hospital for the virus. So far this process has worked smoothly,” said Bill Henning.


Bill Henning, CEO and Administrator, Baptist North Mississippi.

How Baptist is keeping patients, visitors and staff safe.

“All patients coming for outpatient testing are screened as they come into the hospital at the front entrance for fever and are asked a series of questions as mandated by the CDC. Visitors to the hospital have been limited and those that are allowed to enter the facility are also screened. Everyone in the facility wears a mask and staff with direct patient care is using the appropriate PPE as determined by the CDC. Patients who are positive for COVID-19 or being tested because they have symptoms are placed in area designated for COVID-19 patients,” said Henning.

Everyone, including the Baptist staff, is required to wear masks when entering and inside the facility. Baptist also provides hand sanitization stations throughout the building and encourages the frequent use of them.

Baptist has limited the number of visitors that can come to the hospital. Each person arriving to the facility will be screened and required to wear a mask. Any patient having a procedure that will be discharged and not staying overnight can have a family member with them. The same screening process is used for both adults and children at Baptist. If a small child cannot handle the COVID-19 test, Baptist uses PPE as a precaution in the case they have the virus.

Baptist is also ensuring all hospital employees are staying safe by screening employees before entering the facility and following CDC guidelines when taking care of patients.

The CDC guidelines include wearing a mask, eye shields and the appropriate PPE when taking care of patients.

Most common elective surgeries performed at Baptist.

The most common elective surgeries performed at Baptist are in the areas of Orthopedics, Endoscopy and the Cath Lab. The most common elective surgeries performed in Orthopedics are surgeries such as knee and hip replacements, foot and ankle, shoulder, carpal tunnel and back surgeries. In the Endoscopy area, the most common elective cases are upper and lower GI scopes, and in the Cath Lab, the most common elective procedures are heart caths.

Consequences of holding off on surgeries.

“Of course, there could be consequences of postponing surgeries. However, this would be an individual decision based on the procedure, and I would encourage the patient to talk over their concerns with their health care provider,” said Henning.

For more information about Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, go to https://www.baptistonline.org/locations/north-mississippi?type=404. For the full list of visitor guidelines for Baptist Memorial Hospital, go to https://www.baptistonline.org/patients-and-visitors/visitor-guide.