The New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC), the statewide professional organization for ASCs in New Jersey, has created some guidelines for medical and surgical procedures in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
- If a procedure can be safely postponed without additional significant risk to the patient, it should be delayed until further clarification is issued from the regulatory agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Health and the CDC.
- We support the American College of Surgeons’ recommendations that “the risk to the patient should include an aggregate assessment of the real risk of proceeding and the real risk of delay, including the expectation that a delay of 6-8 weeks or more may be required to emerge from an environment in which COVID-19 is less prevalent.”
- We support ASCA’s recommendations that “Physicians should consider the potential of post- surgical complications that could place stress on the local hospital that may lack capacity for transfers. To that end, facilities should reach out to local hospitals to establish a line of communication that ensures coordination in managing care during the pandemic.”
- Ambulatory surgery centers should postpone any elective and non-urgent procedures. The patient’s provider should determine what is elective and non-urgent. See links from ASCA and the American College of Surgeons for guidance:
- From the American College of Surgeons: https://www.facs.org/about-acs/covid-19/information-for-surgeons/triage
- Here is the statement from ASCA.
- We advocate that physicians determine whether postponement of surgery is the right thing to do or not. Treat patients with a condition where delaying the procedure could worsen the prognosis or would cause harm to the patient.
- Ambulatory surgery centers should follow CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidelines, employ social distancing policies and prohibit all non-essential visitors.
As we all know, the circumstances and impact of COVID-19 are constantly and quickly changing. We are committed to staying on top of these developments and monitoring the CDC’s and the Department of Health’s guidelines. NJAASC will continue to update and share our recommendations with you.
We consider the safety of our patients, employees, and families of paramount importance, and we are ready to meet the needs of our community, while providing all of New Jersey ASCs with the support they need in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
President, New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Office: 201-795-0205 x241