Essentia Health Postpones Routine Appointments, Elective Procedures
Essentia Health is postponing all routine appointments and elective procedures for two weeks, beginning today, March 18th.
In a press release, Essentia said the decision affects appointments and elective procedures scheduled at any Essentia hospital or clinic from March 18th to April 1st. Decisions about appointments and procedures after April 1st will be made later.
The decision was made to protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Dr. Peter Henry, Essentia Health’s Chief Medical Officer. The decision, he explained, also allows Essentia Health to deploy staff and resources to prepare for expected infection outbreaks in communities it serves.
“We recognize that postponing routine appointments and elective procedures is disruptive to our patients and staff but we always put safety first,” Dr. Henry stated. “We want to be ready to provide the care that our communities need in this unprecedented time.”
Essentia believes postponing non-essential appointments and elective procedures is in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as recommendations from the Surgeon General and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Henry said Essentia Health is expanding tools that help care for patients without an office visit, such as E-visits and video visits available through Essentia MyHealth. As video visits expand to a variety of specialty areas, patients are encouraged to enroll in Essentia’s MyHealth, a secure online option that allows them to have a video visit with their care team via a computer, tablet or cell phone.
Download the “MyChart” app or go to EssentiaHealth.org/MyHealth to sign up.