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  • Sherron Young

Medical facilities should be Covid Ready | Phoenix Medical Centre starts in this mandatory trend...

Updated: May 11




As one of the lead physicians in the Covid19 Fight, Dr. Ross Downes is cautioning medical facilities on the need to be post Covid ready. Phoenix Medical Centre plays a vital role in delivering safe, cost-effective care to it's patients. As the Bahamas battles with the novel COVID-19 virus, we have maintained our commitment to serve the needs of the community. The ambulatory environment is able to assist with then surge overwhelming the nation’s hospitals and provide excess resources to aid in the crisis. 

Phoenix Medical Centre adheres to regulatory and clinical guidance for the protection of the public to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Ambulatory surgical centers such as ours are able to perform select procedures safely thus preserving hospital supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for higher acuity needs in that setting. In the U.S., all elective non-urgent surgical procedures have been postponed.  This decision was the appropriate initial response but it has been proven that it is not possible to define medical urgency solely on whether a case is elective or not. Many patients have experienced delayed colonoscopy, cholecystectomies or even simple biopsies. Fortunately for the Bahamas, the impact of this pandemic has not been as grave as that seen internationally. Our government’s commitment to social distancing, shelter-in-place actions, clinical screening, isolation protocols and systematic re-opening of the island has flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread. Our ambulatory center is perfect to fill this void. The American College of surgeons has stated that an ambulatory surgical center should be the first choice to provide a number of various surgeries. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association has shown that they have the best outcomes in places where surgeries are preformed It has been prudent for Phoenix Medical Centre to implement ways to cautiously resume activities and while catering to growing healthcare demands. Even after the curfew is lifted, we expect the risk of transmission to be present for up to 2 years. Thus we strive to ensure patient health and the prevention of virus spread by applying the following principles:

  • The facility has sanitizing stations at all points of entry

  • All patients will be masked upon entry

  • Shoes covers for all patients & staff

  • Pre-visit phone or digital questionnaire is completed by its patients

  • Digital temperature checking

  • Screening patients before visits and monitoring their health prior to starting surgery as part of the pre-operative procedure

  • Gloves should be worn by medical staff only

  • Requiring staff to self-monitor and screen for viral symptoms daily

  • Creating & Enforcement of waiting-room spacing guidelines, social distancing, face masking and other recommended procedures for patients and visitors prior to entering the facility

  • Ensuring heightened disinfection to prevent and mitigate the risk of spread

  • Ensuring patients have been medically cleared by their primary care physician where applicable

In addition to these cautions, there are other factors to consider that will permit Phoenix Medical Centre to service your needs in a prudent and safe manner, balancing the needs of patient care with the risk of providing that care:

  • Patient prioritization: starting with patients who have lower co-morbidities and surgical risks

  • Procedure types: starting with procedures that are lower risk with regard to airborne transmission and those with minimal risk of unintended hospital admissions

  • COVID-19 testing considerations: a positive questionnaire or fever will trigger further testing

As the pandemic recedes, we strive to continue appropriate triage and care of patients. Phoenix Medical Centre can be an integral part of our nation’s healthcare delivery system, providing cost-effective, high-quality surgical and procedural care. We remain committed to working with hospitals to provide our nation with first class surgical care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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