Lake of the Woods District Hospital Resumes Elective Services

Published on June 09, 2020


On May 26, 2020, the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health gave approval for health care providers to gradually restart elective services which had been cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic response. The Lake of the Woods District Hospital performed an extensive consultation and review of which services can be safely restarted and what safety measures are required. This process involved a review of the readiness of every service that was deferred and its ability to restart, and completion of a comprehensive organizational risk assessment.

For the restart of elective surgery and related procedures, the hospital completed sign-off on a number of criteria, including the adequacy of drug supply and personal protective equipment supply, and sufficient capacity of hospital beds to handle COVID-19 cases should patients require hospital admission. The hospital has completed its readiness assessment to meet this criterion and submitted a request to Ontario Health North for approval to restart elective surgery. Once approval is received these services can restart.

For other hospital services that were deferred, the hospital began restarting outpatient care services effective Monday, June 8, 2020.

As part of the resumption of services, staff and patients will be required to adopt very stringent procedures. Patients are encouraged to participate in virtual care interventions if appropriate. Patients will now have to be screened for COVID -19 both before and on the day of their intervention, will have to wear a mask at all times (if a patient has a mask we encourage them to bring their own), and wash their hands with sanitizer frequently and thoroughly. In order to reduce risk, physical distancing has reduced waiting spaces and patients will be requested to arrive no more than 10 minutes prior to their appointment.

Hospital departments will begin calling patients to arrange appointments. Patients will be offered the option to defer their appointment, to receive the care virtually if it is possible, or to schedule the next available appointment.

The hospital is very pleased to begin resuming services that were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. It is important to recognize that COVID-19 is circulating in communities the hospital serves, so ramping up elective services will be done in a cautious way and must