For months now, COVID-19 has put the world into lockdown and turned healthcare systems into emergency-only operations. As hospitals begin to emerge from this unusual situation, they are thinking through the best course of action when it comes to resuming elective procedures. It is a complex process that will require unparalleled coordination and partnership.
As part of our enterprise response to COVID-19, the Johnson & Johnson Institute has supported a number of AIS educational programs focused on advancing patient care in the COVID-19 environment. The most recent program, titled “The New Normal in Elective Surgery” featured healthcare experts from around the globe sharing advice and lessons around hospital re-openings. The webinar attracted more than 39,000 healthcare professionals including surgeons physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators from 148 countries.
- Ashley McEvoy, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson
- Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of the Houston Methodist Hospital, USA
- Dr. Manish Chand, Consultant Colorectal & Endometriosis Surgeon, University College London, United Kingdom
- Linda Groah, CEO of AORN, USA
- Mr. Rod Menchaca, CEO of Advances in Surgery, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr. Jean-Blaise Wasserfallen, Vice-medical director of University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland
- Dr. Steven Wexner, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Director of the Digestive Disease Center, USA
The discussion focused on the immediate steps and logistical hurdles that will come with re-opening elective surgeries, including determining which procedures to prioritize, retraining staff, and managing employee burnout. Groah shared a five-phased roadmap from AORN, saying that “if hospitals follow these guidelines, patients can be assured that best practices are adhered to, and they, therefore, should have the best possible outcomes.”
McEvoy shared how Johnson & Johnson is helping hospitals adapt to the new normal and prepare to restart elective surgeries: “We are partnering with healthcare professionals, health systems and patients to ensure people everywhere receive the treatment they need as we collectively establish the new normal in elective surgery. Our team is leveraging technology in new ways to offer virtual training and to support procedures in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and other sites of care. We are looking at how we can facilitate pre-operative and post-operative care using digital solutions to change the patient experience both during and beyond COVID-19 to make the care continuum more seamless and patient-friendly.”
Panelists also discussed the longer-term implications of the current healthcare disruption, including a shift to telehealth and greater collaboration between specialties.
“As we emerge from this crisis, we need to have a collaborative plan that includes all stakeholders,” said Dr. Chand. “Perhaps coming out of this, we’ll have a health system that’s more efficient for patients and healthcare professionals.”
This webinar is part of an expanded collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Institute and AIS to connect HCPs to a virtual COVID-19 Resource Center. HCPs can access important information from multiple public sources, updated in real-time, as well as free online courses and training programs to help everyone perform their work in the safest and most effective way possible.