Limited Elective Surgeries to Start May 18

Our community's health is first on our minds. Monday, May 18 will see the scheduling start of three elective surgeries per day or 15 per week at the Medical Center.

Life is on pause, but our need for healthcare is not.

Following Governor Inslee’s plan to phase-out some stay-at-home restrictions, WhidbeyHealth continues to take steps to meet the healthcare needs of our community. Several services will re-open at the hospital and clinics, while maintaining strict safety precautions already in place.

WhidbeyHealth General Surgeon, Dr. Leah Oman, expresses the importance of re-starting surgical services for our community.

“I’m eager to get patients back on track with planned procedures because I know how great the need is for certain surgical services,” Dr. Oman said. “I am also absolutely confident in the safety of our facilities here at WhidbeyHealth, which is always our first priority.”

Monday, May 18 will see the scheduling start of three elective surgeries per day or 15 per week at the Medical Center.

  • Surgeries will be prioritized by a multi-disciplinary team based on criteria, including worsening of the patient’s condition, harm, etc.
  • As a safety measure, Operating Room teams will be swabbed regularly to be tested for COVID-19, which includes all providers and staff. This represents several thousand dollars in cost per month (lab fees alone are $125 per test).
  • Patients waiting for a procedure will be contacted to schedule pre-op, etc., which will largely be done at the Medical Center.
  • The no visitor policy still stands; support persons will be asked to wait in the car during procedures to maintain safety precautions at the hospital
  • Emergency surgeries and cesarean births are not included in the 15 surgeries per week.
  • Maintaining surgical services are dependent on inventory of PPE, continued decline in COVID-19 spread, and guidance from the Governor’s office.

As with all services available to our patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, the reinforcement of protective safety precautions for all patients and staff are our first priority in re-introducing services. Health and safety protocols for staff and patients during any visit will be strictly enforced and will include:

  • Temperature screening upon entry to any building
  • Patients showing a fever will have to reschedule their appointment
  • Each patient support person will be required to wait in the car for the duration of the patient’s visit
  • Patients will be required to wear a mask on entry to any building
  • All staff will be required to wear complete Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, goggles and, in some cases, gowns
  • Spatial distancing in waiting areas will be strictly enforced
  • Surgical areas are included in the rotation of our new Halo Disinfection Systems (An evaporation system which uses a dry fogging delivery of disinfectant throughout any complex space to eliminate pathogens beyond the reach of sprays, wipes or UV lights.)

To schedule an elective surgical procedure, please call 360.678.6799.

Stay connected with us for current information at facebook.com/whidbeyhealth or on our website at whidbeyhealth.org.