St. James Hospital announces reopening of elective outpatient procedures


HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM) – A hospital in the epicenter of Steuben County’s COVID-19 outbreak will be resuming elective outpatient proedures.

St. James Hospital in Hornell announced on Thursday that they have been given the appropriate approval to begin scheduling elective procedures and appointments, starting April 28.

The hospital announced visitor restrictions and changed guidelines for patient visits and access to its facility on March 13.

“We are pleased to begin providing elective services such as imaging studies, colonoscopies, endoscopies, outpatient surgeries, physical therapy, and specialty appointments,” said Bilal Ahmed, M.D., St. James Hospital chief medical officer. “Some patients have been waiting for care since mid-March, and a continued delay may cause a further decline of their health. We will increase our ambulatory volume beginning Tuesday to meet our community’s health care needs.”

“We will take a phased-in approach to ensure staff and patient safety,” said Bryan O’Donovan, president and CEO. “Safety is – and will continue to be – our #1 priority.”

Safety protocols include pre-visit and on-site screening of all individuals, universal masking, limited points of entry to clinics and the hospital, reconfigured waiting rooms and work space for social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, scheduling that promotes social distancing, and continued use of telemedicine appointments where appropriate.

“In addition, we will call patients in advance to ask if they have symptoms, limit the number of visitors accompanying patients, and take additional precautions if needed based on your procedure or appointment,” said Dr. Ahmed.

Patients who have been waiting for elective procedures and appointments at St. James will be contacted directly by their provider to schedule an appointment.

“This is a positive step in continuing our mission of providing the Hornell area with the vital health services they need,” said O’Donovan. “Our medical staff and team members are excited about seeing their patients and taking care of our community.”

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