The last elective surgeries in Minnesota occurred in March, but beginning Monday, they will resume after Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order allowing the resumption. Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota has begun the process of resuming elective surgeries, which General Surgeon and Chief of the Surgery Service Line Mark Claussen says need to get done.
“Because it’s elective doesn’t mean it’s not necessary. It just means it’s not an emergency and doesn’t need to be done that minute,” Claussen said. “But the elective procedures are still very, very important, and if you let it go to long, it starts to harm the patient.”
According to Brad Neis, Executive Director of Operations, between 700 to 800 surgeries have been put on hold. “All of our patients were preparing mentally and physically, working with family to prepare for post operative, so having that shut off has been a huge adjustment for our patients.” Neis said that Sanford has been very, very busy getting ready for Monday and beyond.
Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota President & CEO Susan Jarvis says many of the processes now in place at Sanford Medical Center and Clinics will likely remain in place, even after Covid-19 passes and says that even with an increase in patients due to the resumption of elective surgeries, Sanford is extremely safe and that will continue to be the goal.
Neis said Sanford staff will be contacting the patients who have been delayed to begin the process of getting ready for surgery. Claussen noted that, like changes in airport security after 9-11, there are additional levels of safety in place now that will require patience from patients.
Kev Jackson talked with Susan Jarvis, Mark Claussen and Brad Neis about the resumption of surgeries, the process of resuming, the new safety measures, and the preparations Sanford has taken if an influx of Covid-19 does surface. Take a listen: