Covid-19 Service Protocols

The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed all of our lives in countless ways. Most of us are probably aware of family or friends who have been infected. The social distancing measures put in place have been very important in helping to reduce the rate of further spread of the virus and we are now seeing the dividends of those important public health measures. Early on in the pandemic our healthcare system was regrettably very under prepared, but over the past year we have seen significant improvements in many different aspects of this pandemic, particularly in hot spots such as Connecticut.

The numbers of new cases and hospitalization has been on a steady decline, the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE’s) has improved, progress is being made with effective drug therapy, viral testing with improved turnaround time and widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines. While these positive developments certainly do not signal the end of the pandemic, they do represent significant progress and allow us to safely resume many aspects of healthcare which had recently been put on hold.

We have safely resumed gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures for our outpatients at Saint Francis GI Endoscopy, LLC. After carefully reviewing the medical literature, information from our national gastrointestinal societies, information from the Connecticut Department of Health and CDC, protocols have been put in place that will allow us to safely perform medically necessary endoscopic procedures for our outpatients.

This revised protocol will include:
 

  1. Patients will undergo viral testing within 72 hours of their scheduled procedure only if they are not fully vaccinated. Only patients with negative viral testing or are fully vaccinated are eligible for endoscopic procedures in this setting. You are fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks since your last dose of vaccine.
     

  2. All patients will be masked during their time in our endoscopy unit. Special masks will be used during upper endoscopies.
     

  3. Only patients are allowed to use our waiting room.  Patient escorts/family members will not be allowed to stay in our waiting room.  Patient flow through the center/unit will be streamlined to minimize contact with all but essential staff members, and strict social distancing will be practiced.
     

  4. Appropriate personal protective equipment will be provided to all staff members and will be worn at all times.  Strict hand hygiene will be enforced.
     

  5. There will be enhanced cleaning and disinfection of the pre-procedure, intra-procedure, and post-procedure areas between each patient

 

This protocol has been developed by a collaborative group of our GI, Surgical, and Anesthesia Physicians, our Nursing Staff and Facility Director, and is in keeping with the latest recommendations in the literature, by national GI, surgical, and anesthesia societies and the Connecticut Department of Health. We are confident that we will be able to provide state of the art GI endoscopic care in a safe environment for all. 

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