Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg will suspend elective surgical procedures after Friday, March 27, in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Having already restricted non-essential and non-urgent procedures for high-risk patients, the hospital will now take this additional step, to aid in nationwide and community-wide efforts to limit unnecessary interactions and potential disease exposures. The hospital’s decision is consistent with a recent plea by the US Surgeon General, and advice from the CDC, for such measures.
“While we don’t necessarily anticipate a huge strain on our hospital’s surgical resources from this epidemic, we do think it is prudent to be prepared,” said Dr. Clay Prince, CMO at Madison Memorial. “Pretty much all the services we perform require people to get together in close contact, both patients and staff, regardless of the precautions we always take,” said Prince. “Some of the procedures we do can safely be postponed until this present danger has passed, so we are going to do what we can to avoid those interactions, to completely eliminate that particular risk of contagion. We want to participate in the social distancing effort to the extent that we can, and do our part to lessen the impact of this epidemic. We’re healthcare workers. We need to set an example.”
Madison Memorial emphasizes that the suspension is temporary, and that the hospital plans to resume normal operations as soon as the health and safety of patients, staff, and the community can be assured.
Another area of proactive measures is in our visitor policy:
1. Only one (1) designated visitor per patient for the duration of the patient’s stay.
2. All designated visitors will be screened each time they enter the facility. (Designated visitors will be directed to enter on the south side of the facility through our Maternity Center entrance)
3. Visitors must wash their hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer before entering and after leaving any Madison Memorial facility, patient room, or exam room.
4. Other exceptions may apply.
“As a reminder to our community, people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who might have been exposed are asked to FIRST contact their providers or doctors, before coming to the hospital. Contact in such cases should be made via telephone before entering healthcare facility. Preventing the spread must be a top priority for everyone,” McBride said. “Madison Memorial Hospital greatly appreciates the support and understanding of our community as we work together to protect everyone’s health and stop the further spread of novel coronavirus. We know that the primary care providers in this area have been significantly impacted in the past weeks, and we want to publicly thank them as we work together to fight the spread of this disease.”