KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hospitals across the Kansas City metro are sharing the process patients can expect to go through when booking an elective procedure.
The University of Kansas Health System, HCA Midwest Health and Saint Luke's Health System said all patients will be screened for COVID-19 before their procedure. Patients also will be tested for the virus.
Dr. Sean Kumer, a surgeon at the University of Kansas Health System, said a patient who is positive for COVID-19 could be put at an increased risk for death by undergoing a procedure or operation.
"We test them 48 hours beforehand and if they're positive, of course they're counseled, and we postpone their case," Kumer said.
After patients are tested for the virus, all of the facilities said they will ask patients to shelter at home until the day of their procedure.
A spokesperson for HCA Midwest said patients will be tested 72 hours ahead of their scheduled appointment. While sheltering at home, HCA Midwest is asking patients to check their temperatures each day until their procedure.
All patients will be asked to wear a mask before entering the facilities.
At the University of Kansas Health System, patients can expect their temperature to be taken when they arrive.
As hospitals prepared for the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of elective procedures were canceled, with operating rooms shut down across the country.
Many hospitals now say they have enough personal protective equipment to adequately treat patients while keeping staff safe. The medical facilities also have implemented a different set of protocols.
Kumer said now that precautions are in place, it's important patients don't delay treatment. He said he wants people to know it's safe to seek treatment.
"We have different precautions now and people need to seek health care because what happens is, if you’re not dealing with your health care early and you wait, those problems that we could solve pretty quickly become (big) problems in a matter of just a couple weeks," Kumer said.