Five hospitals that serve the Pomona Valley area, including Chino and Chino Hills, have resumed elective surgeries after delaying those procedures for almost three months to help slow the spread of coronavirus and keep hospital resources available for potential virus patients.
Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino, Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona, Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center, and Casa Colina Hospital in Pomona are slowly scheduling elective surgeries and procedures again, but with several modifications in place to protect patients and staff members against the virus which is still widespread.
All five will test patients for coronavirus prior to surgery, have their staff wear masks at all times and place restrictions on visitors.
Cheryl Gilliatt, chief nursing officer of Chino Valley Medical Center, said surgery patients are not permitted to have visitors accompany them at this time.
Pomona Valley is restricting visitors but is allowing one healthy, adult visitor for labor and delivery patients, and when a patient needs a driver after a medical procedure. But, that person must remain in the hospital with the patient and cannot go in and out of the hospital.
Casa Colina is having patients tested three to four days before their procedure and self-isolate from their test date until the day of their procedure.
The hospitals also said they are enhancing their cleaning procedures, including increased disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces such as phones, doorknobs, elevators, nurses’ stations, waiting room furniture, and stairwell handrails.
Pomona Valley is using ultraviolet light systems to disinfect patient discharge/transfer rooms for all patients in isolation or the intensive care unit and surgical suites and other procedural areas such as the Women’s Center operating room, Cath Lab, and Interventional Radiology. If a patient with coronavirus has received medical services in those procedural areas, two types of cleaning will be employed, including ultraviolet light.
The hospitals also have sufficient personal protective equipment for their staff, such as isolation gowns, masks, and head and shoe coverings, according to their spokespersons.
Kaiser said it is reconfiguring facilities, including waiting areas and cafeterias to ensure safe environments that promote social distancing and crowd avoidance.
Casa Colina is re-designing its pre-admission testing process to limit patient travel throughout the hospital and is enforcing social distancing.
Kaiser and Casa Colina are also conducting temperature checks at hospital entrances and asking patients questions about their potential to have the virus or if they have been exposed to someone who has it, before allowing entrance to their medical facilities.
Casa Colina is distributing medical-grade masks to patients and staff upon entry.
Kaiser spokesperson Terry Kanakri said the HMO’s doctors have been keeping tabs on its patients that need elective surgery during the coronavirus lockdown.
“As we work toward resuming elective surgeries and procedures, we are reassessing and re-triaging patients to prioritize among those whose procedures have been delayed,” the spokesperson said.