- Hospitals are prepping for a flood of potential coronavirus cases.
- “We operate close to the limit on a good day,” said Tufts Medical Center’s CEO Dr. Michael Apkon.
- That means cancelling or delaying elective procedures and clinic visits.
Tufts Medical Center in Massachusetts started calling patients earlier this week to reschedule elective procedures, such as knee and hip replacements and even annual physical exams, so it could prepare for an influx of patients with coronavirus.
“As we began to see that we were going to face a significant issue with the pandemic, we started to look at what we could do to slow down the cases with social distancing,” explained the health system’s CEO Michael Apkon by phone.
“We also saw a reality of limited stock, including personal protective equipment, across the industry,” he continued. Another concern for the hospital, according to Dr. Apkon, was making space for more coronavirus patients. Many of the elective procedures underway could require a patient to remain in the hospital for up to five days, and the situation could take a turn for the worse in that time.
“We operate close to the limit on a good day,” he said, referring to the hospital’s intensive care unit capacity.