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 several weeks 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, and there is much more availability of viral testing with improved turnaround time. 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 aspect of healthcare which had recently been put on hold.
With this in mind, we now feel we can safely resume gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures for our outpatients at Saint Francis GI Endoscopy, LLC. After carefully reviewing the medical literature, information from our national gastrointestinal societies, and information from the Connecticut Department of Health, we have developed a revised protocol that will allow us to safely perform medically necessary endoscopic procedures for our outpatients.
This revised protocol will include:
All patients will undergo viral testing within 72 hours of their scheduled procedure. Only patients with negative viral testing will be eligible for endoscopic procedures in this setting.
All patients will be masked during their time in our endoscopy unit. Special masks will be used during upper endoscopy.
The number of scheduled patients will be reduced, 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.
Appropriate personal protective equipment will be provided to all staff members and will be worn at all times and strict hand hygiene will be enforced.
There will be enhanced cleaning and disinfection of the pre-procedure, intra-procedure, and post-procedure areas between each patient.
There will be careful patient follow up at 1 and 14 days post procedure.
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.