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COVID-19 Update

Elective Surgeries and Procedures Now Available

wiping down a chairOur exam rooms and operating rooms are cleaned and disinfected before and after each patient.

In accordance with guidance from the Maryland Department of Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine now offers select elective surgeries and procedures at our ambulatory surgery facilities in Maryland. The information below explains how you can access these expanded services and describes the comprehensive precautions we have put in place to help ensure your safety.

We will continue to make decisions about resuming additional services and treatments carefully so we can ensure the highest level of care and safety for everyone. We remind you that our hospitals and emergency rooms are open and available to provide you with safe emergency and essential care. We continue to offer in-person visits if needed and video visits with our providers throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

If you have questions about your care, please connect with us through MyChart or call your provider. We are here for you during this pandemic and as we move forward, safely treating you both in-person and remotely.

We appreciate your patience and support. We are committed to meeting all of your health care needs. 

 

Table of Contents

Safety Highlights You Need to Know:
COVID-19 Testing Required | Masks Required | No Visitors Allowed
 
 
taking blood pressureAll staff and patients must wear masks. We maintain 6 feet between people except during medical care activities.

Appointment Information for Elective Surgeries and Procedures

What is an elective surgery or procedure?

An elective surgery or procedure is planned in advance. It is not necessarily optional, but it does not need to occur immediately. This includes a wide range of procedures, surgeries and imaging tests. Your doctor’s office will advise you on what is elective.

What kinds of elective surgeries and procedures are now available for adults and children?

Our surgery centers are open for select adult and pediatric surgeries and procedures.

Our elective surgeries and procedures for adults and children include these areas:

  • Breast Surgery 
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Ear, Nose and Throat (Adult and Pediatric)
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Surgery
  • Gynecology (including In Vitro Fertilization)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics (Adult and Pediatric)
  • Pain Management
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Adult and Pediatric)
  • Urology

Where can I get elective surgeries and procedures?

We are providing treatments at the following ambulatory surgery centers (primary services noted below). The list of surgeries and procedures will be updated consistently as services become available.

How can I make an appointment for an elective surgery or procedure?

If your surgery or procedure was postponed:

Our outpatient and ambulatory surgery center physicians and staff members will contact you. You may also call your doctor’s office or send a message via MyChart to find out when your appointment can be scheduled.

If you want to schedule a new surgery or procedure:

We encourage you to use our Find a Doctor directory to locate a specialist, then contact us to schedule an appointment.

What criteria does Johns Hopkins Medicine use to prioritize which types of patients/procedures should come in?

We are prioritizing outpatient surgeries and procedures for patients based on a variety of factors, including medical condition and risk for disease progression. 

Why are elective surgeries and procedures not being offered at Johns Hopkins Medicine hospital locations at this time?

Our decisions on what services we can expand at this time are guided by the need to keep patients, clinicians and staff members safe while also monitoring the virus’s continued presence in our community and caring for patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals. We will resume additional surgeries, procedures and office visits carefully so we ensure the highest level of care and safety for everyone. 

Our hospitals and emergency rooms are open to treat urgent and essential health care needs, and we continue to offer video visits through telemedicine between our providers and patients.

Are you offering routine screenings for mammograms, etc.?

Johns Hopkins Medical Imaging is now providing mammograms at outpatient centers. To schedule an appointment at Bethesda, Columbia, White Marsh and Green Spring Station in Lutherville, please call 443-997-7237. To make an appointment at Sibley Memorial Hospital, call 202-537-4545.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Staff at the Community Physicians office wearing masks Everyone must wear masks in our care facilities.

What safety precautions are you taking to make sure the environment is safe and clean for me?

Your health and well-being are our very highest priorities. At Johns Hopkins Medicine, our infection prevention specialists are leaders in providing guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and we take infection prevention very seriously in all of our clinics and operating rooms. In addition, we have carefully planned and taken extra precautions to help ensure that we are doing everything we can to minimize any risk to our patients and staff members.

Our medical staff works closely with our Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control to ensure the highest levels of safety are observed. We combine this knowledge with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland Department of Health.

 
 
 

We are implementing the following safety guidelines in our ambulatory surgery centers:

We are testing and screening.

  • Our pre-screening and COVID-19 testing measures are designed to identify anyone who has COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 before their arrival at our surgery center.
  • All patients are tested approximately 72 hours before their procedure, and they must then self-isolate until their appointment. If they test positive, the procedure will be rescheduled.
  • All staff members and physicians are screened daily. They do not come to work if there is any sign of symptoms related to COVID-19.
  • All patients are screened upon arrival, either at the building entrance or when entering the ambulatory surgery center.
  • We will immediately separate anyone in the facility who we believe may have COVID-19 before they come into contact with other patients, and then we will test for it.

We require universal masking and wear appropriate protective equipment.

  • All staff members and patients must wear masks in the facility (except children under age 3).
  • All surgical staff wear face masks, shields and gloves.
  • Measures are in place so patients reduce contact with surfaces and staff at check in and check out.
Wiping the rail of a hospital bedSurfaces and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

We are extremely focused on keeping our facilities clean.

  • Surfaces and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, using products that are effective against a range of organisms including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 
  • We clean our waiting rooms frequently.
  • Our exam rooms and operating rooms are cleaned and disinfected frequently, including before and after each patient, according to the guidelines of our Johns Hopkins infection prevention experts, the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health.
  • Hand sanitizer is always available.
  • Our doctors, nurses and all medical staff members sanitize or wash their hands before and after interacting with patients.
chairs with social distancing spaceOur waiting room chairs are positioned to maintain 6 feet between patients.

We are minimizing the number of people at the facility and practicing social distancing.

  • Our waiting room chairs are spaced 6 feet apart, and only a few patients will be allowed in waiting rooms at a time.
  • The number of staff members in exam rooms and operating rooms is limited, and only those essential to your care are present. We maintain at least 6 feet between people except during medical care activities.
  • No visitors may accompany patients into the surgery center (except one parent or guardian for pediatrics).
    • When ready to leave, we will safely escort patients to the car of the person picking them up. The driver must wear a mask.
 
 
wiping down a waiting roomWe clean and disinfect our facilities and environmental surfaces frequently.

How is Johns Hopkins keeping its waiting rooms, exam rooms and equipment clean and allowing for social distancing?

We clean and disinfect our facilities and environmental surfaces frequently, and our exam and operating rooms after each patient. We follow the guidelines of our Johns Hopkins infection prevention experts and the CDC and Maryland Department of Health.

In our waiting rooms, we have placed tape 6 feet apart on the floor, indicating where you should stand to keep yourself distant from others. The chairs in our waiting rooms are separated to maintain proper social distancing, and there will be a limit to the number of patients allowed in the waiting room.

What is Johns Hopkins Medicine doing to make sure I do not come into contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Our pre-screening and COVID-19 testing measures are designed to identify anyone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 before their arrival at our surgery centers. If we believe a person in our surgery center may have COVID-19, we will separate them immediately before they come into contact with other patients, and then test them for COVID-19.

How does Johns Hopkins make sure nurses, doctors and staff members aren’t sick?

All staff at Johns Hopkins Medicine answer COVID-19 screening questions every day and attest that they do not have symptoms consistent with possible COVID-19 infection.

Anyone who reports symptoms that began in the last 72 hours is instructed to leave work immediately and report those symptoms to Johns Hopkins Medicine Occupational Health Services so that they can be evaluated and tested for COVID-19 if needed. Employees are not allowed to work if they have symptoms, and they must be cleared by Occupational Health Services before returning to work.

Is there a difference in safety measures taken at different locations?

No. All of our ambulatory surgery centers are taking the same precautions to help prevent exposure to COVID-19.

What precautions should I take before my surgery or procedure to make sure I do not get COVID-19?

You and your family should wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces frequently, wear face masks in public and practice social distancing. In addition, you will need to take a COVID-19 test a few days before your procedure and self-isolate after that test.


Preparing for My Appointment, Surgery or Procedure

In order to help ensure the safety of our patients and staff members, we have implemented procedures to include screening for COVID-19 and added safety measures. Please read this information carefully before your appointment.

Four Days Before Your Procedure

  • A member of our team will call you to schedule your COVID-19 test. The test will be given at a Johns Hopkins facility, about 72 hours before your procedure or surgery.
  • Over the phone, we will also review preoperative instructions for your surgery or procedure.
  • You will be instructed to self-isolate after your COVID-19 test.
  • You will also be screened by answering the following questions:
    • Do you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, unexplained loss of taste or smell, diarrhea or headache?
    • Has anyone in your house traveled to areas of high COVID-19 infection in the past four weeks?
    • Does anyone in your house have COVID-19 or have you come in contact with someone you know has COVID-19?
  • We will explain that, for the safety of you and our staff, we currently do not allow any visitors into our surgery centers. The only exception is for pediatric procedures — one parent or guardian may accompany a child.
  • You will be given a phone number if you have questions about your appointment.
  • We will verify your COVID-19 test result one to two days before your procedure.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, we will call you, reschedule your procedure and discuss next steps.

Day of Your Appointment

When you arrive, please do not enter the surgery center until you call the registration phone number. You will be told when you can go into the waiting room. If you need assistance getting inside, we can provide a safe escort.

No visitors may accompany patients into the surgery center. The exception is for pediatric patients, who may be accompanied by one parent or guardian. This visitor policy helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as preserve personal protective equipment for medical staff.

You must wear a face mask or covering when entering our surgery centers. If you don’t have a face mask, we will provide one for you. You will not be allowed to enter our care facility without a mask. The only exception is for children under 3.

When you enter the office, you will be screened by answering questions about symptoms and exposure to people with COVID-19.

We will have hand sanitizer in our surgery centers for you to use.

We are practicing social distancing, so you will notice that chairs in the waiting room are separated. We will also limit the number of people in the waiting room, as well as the number of staff members in treatment rooms.

Testing for COVID-19

A member of our team will call you approximately four days before your surgery or procedure to schedule a COVID-19 test. Your test will be given at a Johns Hopkins facility within 72 hours before your procedure or surgery.

We will verify your COVID-19 test result one to two days before your procedure. If the test result is not available before your appointment, the surgery or procedure will need to be rescheduled. If you test positive for COVID-19, we will call you, reschedule your procedure and discuss next steps.

Discharge

Ten minutes before you are ready to leave our surgery center, a member of our team will call the person who is waiting to pick you up. We will walk you to the car when you are ready to leave.

The person picking you up may need to sign discharge papers, and they must wear a mask.

Follow-up instructions will be provided to you and the person picking you up. If necessary, we can also call someone and provide instructions for follow-up care.


Visitors and Family Members

The safety of our patients and staff members is our highest priority. In order to help ensure we prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are not allowing any visitors or family members into our surgery centers.

Ten minutes before a patient is ready to leave our surgery center, we will call the family member or friend picking the patient up. We will walk the patient to the car. The family member or friend may need to sign discharge papers, and they must wear a mask.

We are committed to returning to a more patient-centered visitor policy as soon as we feel it is safe to do so.


Insurance and Financial Assistance

Since I scheduled my surgery, I lost my job and no longer have health insurance (or my insurance changed). What should I do?

If your insurance changed, please provide your clinic or surgery scheduler with the correct insurance information.

Johns Hopkins Medicine offers a number of programs to help patients determine the best options for their unique financial situation. We can help you apply for Medical Assistance coverage through the state. To complete the screening and application process, please reach us at 410-955-7798. More information about financial assistance and payment plans is also available.


All Patient Information

Learn about our other patient care options, including:

You can also enroll in MyChart to manage appointments, communicate with your provider, receive test results and request prescription renewals.

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