Elective Procedures Resume at Glacial Ridge Health System

An elective surgery is often an essential surgery because it is needed to avoid future complications, relieve or alleviate pain, regain mobility, and live healthier. Governor Tim Walz lifted the elective surgery suspension on May 5, effective May 11, as hospitals in the state have been able to obtain a necessary amount of medical and PPE supplies. Increased diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is another reason the suspension was lifted. People's need for screenings and surgeries are still here and it is time to resume these procedures.

You can safely receive the surgical care you need. The surgery team at GRHS has always been focused on preventing the spread of infection; and have implemented several enhancements to ensure the safety of patients, guests, and staff during COVID-19. While it may seem inconvenient, safety is the top priority. Operating at less than normal capacity, colonoscopies and endoscopies (EGD) began May 11. Echocardiograms will start the week of June 1. Additional procedures and surgeries are being scheduled according to the medical necessity due to the two-month delay, compared to hospital bed capacity. Their healthcare team will notify patients who have a postponed surgery to schedule a new date.

One of the most preventative measures put in place is pre-surgical COVID-19 testing. It is required for most patients to receive a test approximately four days prior to the procedure to help ensure the safety of the patient and medical staff. After testing, patients are asked to self-quarantine at home, practice strict social distancing, and perform frequent handwashing until the date of the procedure. Being negative for COVID-19 will help ensure optimal healing during the recovery phase, and provides peace of mind for the patient. Patients are called with their test result.

Additional COVID-19 related education is provided during the pre-op appointment. Preparing for surgery, mandatory COVID-19 testing, prevention protocols at GRHS, and instructions on how to isolate prior to a procedure are some of the topics covered in the patient education.

Your health and safety is always the number one priority at GRHS. They actively monitor COVID-19 in Minnesota, and implement protocols following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommendations including limiting visitors, screening all patients and staff daily for illness, and requiring masks. Obtaining and responsibly using PPE supplies is important in order to continue the ability to offer elective procedures.

About GRHS

For more than 100 years, Glacial Ridge Health System has provided the highest-quality heartfelt care to Glenwood and the west-central region. As a local hospital with a long-standing history, our foundation is strongly rooted in our communities where we provide compassionate and comprehensive healthcare services. Glacial Ridge Health System is comprised of a 22-bed Critical Access, Trauma Level IV hospital, a surgery center, three medical centers, an eye center, an ambulance service, homecare, hospice, EMS training center, wellness center, and Ridgewood Villa senior living apartments. Learn more at glacialridge.org.


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