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The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unusual impact on healthcare systems—let alone the economy and your own day-to-day life.
In geographic areas where cases of COVID-19 have surged, hospitals are pushed to their limits of capacity. Meanwhile, in other areas hospitals are seeing dramatic decreases in admissions and revenue. One Midwest center reported a 30 percent decline since late March.1
The decline is due to several factors. Social distancing, quarantine, and shelter-in-place orders are keeping people off the roads and at home. Some people are wary about going to the emergency room out of fear of unnecessarily exposing themselves to COVID-19. On top of that, hospitals and outpatient surgical centers have temporarily suspended elective surgeries in order to support social distancing efforts, conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and free up ventilators, beds, personnel, and supplies that may be needed for the care of COVID-19 patients.
If you or a loved one has had a hip, knee, shoulder, or other type of elective joint replacement surgery postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have mixed feelings right now. On the one hand, you're probably still looking forward to the hope of increased function and reduced pain that joint replacement can offer. On the other hand, you may feel concerned about having the procedure during such an interesting time in history. How soon should you re-schedule? What's the right way to proceed with your surgery in order to keep you and your loved ones better protected? Will it be safe to go to the hospital?
Many people have similar concerns. Reportedly, providers, healthcare systems, and governing agencies are working hard to implement measures to help protect patients, visitors, and staff for when the time comes to lift social distancing guidelines and resume elective procedures.
How hospitals and surgeons are planning to resume elective surgeries
Here are a few ways hospitals and providers are preparing for the resumption of elective surgeries once this wave of the pandemic is over:
How YOU can prepare for your upcoming joint replacement
Healthcare providers and organizations are doing their part to prepare for the eventual return of elective procedures—and you can, too! Here are a few things to consider during this unusual time of quarantine and social distancing:
Did you know that some joint replacement procedures have the option for outpatient surgery? Click here for a free guide to outpatient joint replacement surgery.
Patients awaiting their joint replacement surgery may choose to view these unusual times as an opportunity to buckle down on their healthy habits and maximize their readiness for surgery. Be sure to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to learn more about how you can make the most out of your time in quarantine.