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Published on August 26, 2021

Cone Health Delays Many Non-Essential Surgeries 

SurgeryTo care for growing numbers of COVID-19 patients, Cone Health is delaying most non-essential surgeries requiring an overnight stay. The action is effective Monday, Aug. 30. People scheduled for procedures and surgeries are being informed if their surgery is affected.  

Cone Health will move many surgeries to day surgery centers to avoid taxing hospitals. Data will be used to adjust operations to cope with current trends and expected conditions. “We have learned a great deal over the past 18 months that will allow us to efficiently implement this change,” says Dr. Valerie Leschber, senior vice president, chief medical officer, Cone Health. “This is a proactive measure, and we expect to scale back these elective/non-urgent cases through the month of September”. Projections show this latest surge peaking in September.  

Cone Health relies on the clinical judgment of each patient’s medical team to decide which patients should remained scheduled.  

Teams at Cone Health have developed guidelines for what procedures would be considered medically necessary, like heart by-pass surgery, and what procedures could be delayed with less impact for the patient, like cosmetic surgery. 

Cone Health urges the public not to delay emergency care when needed. “Not treating heart attacks and strokes in a timely manner resulted in lifelong disabilities and deaths earlier in this pandemic,” says Leschber. “We are taking in this action in part, so that we can continue caring for people with true medical emergencies.” 

Cone Health urges everyone eligible to get vaccinated, wear masks, frequently hand wash and social distance.