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Update on Elective Surgical Procedures and Medical Services

March 16, 2020

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Today, in accordance with recommendations from the U.S. Surgeon General and the American College of Surgeons, the Renown Health Joint Medical Executive Committee decided that effective Tuesday, March 17, surgical cases scheduled at both Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown South Meadows Medical Center, considered to be ELECTIVE-OPTIONAL will be postponed to a later date. 

  • Patients with scheduled ELECTIVE-OPTIONAL surgeries will be called by Renown Health representatives over the next week. Surgeon’s offices will also be reaching out to assist patients with rescheduling their surgeries for a future date. 
  • Elective surgeries that are REQUIRED and not optional will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis daily with the surgeon, patient and a medical leadership review committee at Renown. Your surgeon’s office will be in contact with you with more information about these REQUIRED surgeries

This temporary measure will allow Renown’s physicians and staff to enact the emergency preparedness plans they have been developing for weeks to create additional capacity for inpatients and to continue to deliver high quality care during the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases in northern Nevada.

The new guidelines do NOT apply to EMERGENCY surgeries performed in Renown hospitals.

There are different types of surgery, this decision impacts Elective-Optional surgeries only.

  • Elective – Optional surgery – Elective surgeries are not usually necessary for the individual to stay in good health. They are non-emergency and planned in advance. A wide range of surgeries can be elective. Most cosmetic surgeries are elective. Other surgeries such as organ donation, scoliosis surgery, tonsillectomies and other minor surgeries can also be considered elective.
  • Required surgery – Surgery which needs to be done in order to retain quality of life. As opposed to urgent or emergency surgery, required surgeries do not need to be performed immediately. Examples of required surgery are kidney stone or tumor removal.
  • Urgent or emergency surgery – When a patient’s condition is life threatening, surgery is considered emergent. Emergency surgeries must be performed immediately, even when the patient is unconscious and cannot give consent. Examples include trauma and appendicitis. Life-threatening conditions can occur during labor and delivery which may require emergency surgery.

Other services making changes include:

Pulmonary Services and Procedures

Renown Health today will begin rescheduling patients scheduled for Pulmonary Function Testing, Outpatient bronchoscopy and patients at Thomas S. Dolan Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Patients who are affected by this change are being called by Renown to reschedule their appointments for Monday, April20, 2020 or later.

Starbucks at Renown and Renown Dining Options

As with many of the Starbucks around the U.S., the Starbucks at Renown Regional Medical Center will shift to a “to-go” model, with no seating available. The cafeterias at Renown Regional Medical Center and South Meadows Medical Center remain open, will temporarily eliminate self-service options and will add more ‘grab and go’ options.

Other Renown Services Remain Open

Renown Medical Group offices remain open. Planned imaging procedures such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), mammograms and non-invasive cardiology testing will continue at Renown hospitals and office locations and will NOT be postponed at this time.

Patients confirmed for imaging appointments will be contacted prior to their scheduled visits to identify those who may be at higher risk of COVID-19 infection.

Renown has expanded access to Teladoc virtual visits, available to all Hometown Health and Senior Care Plus subscribers.

For up-to-date information on Renown’s approach to keeping our community safe, visit our website at https://www.renown.org/covid-19/.



About Renown Health

Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.

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