Mohawk Valley Health System is introducing its new “Safe Path to Surgery” at St. Elizabeth and St. Luke’s hospitals.

Dr. Kent Hall, Chief Physician Executive for MVHS, says it’s a special entrance for patients who are coming in for elective surgeries and procedures that will keep them protected during the COVD-19 pandemic.

These measures include:

  • A new and private pathway for surgery/procedure patients which includes a private entrance and escort directly to the patient’s room. These patients will be screened and have their temperatures taken at the door and will then be taken directly to their room for registration.
  • All patients will be tested for COVID-19 at the MVHS drive-through testing site on Burrstone Road no more than three days prior to surgery. These tests will be sent to the Mayo Clinic with results coming back in 24 to 48 hours. If for some reason the results are not available prior to surgery, rapid testing is available (but in limited supply).
  • Per NYS guidelines, MVHS has a no visitor policy in place throughout the system to protect patients, residents and staff from COVID-19. Surgery staff will call a patient’s point of contact prior to and after surgery to give an update. Also, patients will be able to video chat or call loved ones once they are cleared to do so after surgery.
  • Using dedicated staff for these areas to ensure staff members haven’t also taken care of suspected or positive COVID-19 patients.

“Having the ability to resume elective surgeries and procedures is vital for our health system as it allows us to bring staff back to work and will significantly impact our finances in a positive way,” said Darlene Stromstad, FACHE, president/CEO for MVHS. “But more importantly, it also allows us to continue providing our community the services they need to maintain a good quality of life, and that’s the real reason we’re here.”

MVHS resumed elective surgeries last week.

So far, more than 100 patients have used the safe path.