'I felt very lucky and safe': Hamilton hospitals ramp up elective surgeries, allow visiting

News Jun 27, 2020 by Mike Pearson Hamilton Mountain News

While she’s admittedly still enduring some pain, Sharon Murphy isn’t stressing out over her next hospital visit.

Murphy, 57, was among the first patients to receive elective surgery at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, as the hospital’s Charlton campus gradually ramped up activities in June.

Murphy had her right knee replacement surgery on June 11. She was originally slated to receive the procedure in mid-March before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of all elective procedures.

“Every day it gets a little bit better,” said Murphy. “It’s a very, very painful procedure.”

Thankfully, as other services open up, Murphy now has access to physiotherapy and chiropractic care to aid in her recovery over the next few months. She’s currently recovering at home, with help from her husband.

Aside from the surgery, Murphy said the staff at St. Joe’s made the experience as stress-free as possible. Upon entering the hospital, there were volunteers at the door taking temperatures and hand sanitizer throughout the hospital. Staff also provided very clear direction on where to go. Murphy was discharged on June 14.

“Everything was fantastic,” she said. “I felt very lucky and safe in the four days I was there.”

Murphy said patients shouldn’t feel nervous about going to the hospital. The City of Hamilton employee has no fears over returning to the hospital for her July followup.

Murphy praised the integrative care program at St. Joe’s, which encourages patients to do as much as they can, to the best of their abilities, she said.

Dr. Anthony Adili, chief of surgery at St. Joseph’s, and Dr. Stephen Kelly, surgeon in chief at Hamilton Health Sciences, have been working closely as part of a committee examining the ramp-up of surgical procedures in Ontario’s southwest hospital region.

As part of the analysis, said Adili, health officials have been careful to restart procedures without overwhelming the system. Hospitals are also cognizant to drug issues, personal protective equipment, patient flow and any challenges health-care partners may be having with patient beds.

“It’s been a slow, gradual ramp-up and we’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been able to maintain the urgent cancer surgeries and semi-urgent surgeries,” said Adili.

While procedures like knee replacements are considered elective, Adili acknowledged they are important to protect and enhance patients’ quality of life and ability to work.

Kelly said the Juravinski was also fortunate to maintain most of its cancer work when activities ramped down in the earlier days of the pandemic.

“We have had good feedback from our patient-family adviser groups, telling us cancer and cardiac (surgery are) important, but don’t forget about chronic, disabling pain,” said Kelly.

Now that procedures such as joint surgeries are opening up once again, it’s anticipated there could be a slight increase in cancer surgeries as well, as diagnostic activities, such as colonoscopies, also begin ramping up.

Kelly and Adili both stress that hospitals are safe places to visit and patients shouldn’t let fears of contracting COVID-19 prevent them from accessing care.

“Hospitals are safe places to have care and if you need to come to a hospital, you should come to a hospital,” said Kelly.

In a joint statement on June 24, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s announced new protocols that enable visitors to enter hospitals once again.

“We were very cognizant of the lack of people having support and caregivers with them in the hospital when we ramped down,” said Kelly. “But now that we have a slightly better situation, we’re very keen to get them back into a hospital setting.”

Family members and care partners 18 and older are now permitted to visit in-patient areas of the hospitals between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at HHS and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Joe’s.

One family member or caregiver can be present at a patient’s bedside at one time. The patient can choose up to two family members or caregivers to visit on designated days.

Visitors will notice new physical distancing protocols inside waiting rooms, where a certain number of chairs will be taped off to keep people apart.

All visitors are screened at the front door and required to wear masks.

“As well as the masking, we do want people to physically distance,” said Kelly. “Certainly, when you’re in a room with your loved one and you want to give them a hug, I don’t think anyone is going to stop you doing that. But certainly, we don’t want anyone congregating together in cafeterias or anything like that. We want to make sure people keep up physical distancing. If someone’s having a procedure or operation, they have to somebody with them.”

'I felt very lucky and safe': Hamilton hospitals ramp up elective surgeries, allow visiting

Don't hesitate to seek care, say health officials

News Jun 27, 2020 by Mike Pearson Hamilton Mountain News

While she’s admittedly still enduring some pain, Sharon Murphy isn’t stressing out over her next hospital visit.

Murphy, 57, was among the first patients to receive elective surgery at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, as the hospital’s Charlton campus gradually ramped up activities in June.

Murphy had her right knee replacement surgery on June 11. She was originally slated to receive the procedure in mid-March before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of all elective procedures.

“Every day it gets a little bit better,” said Murphy. “It’s a very, very painful procedure.”

“I felt very lucky and safe in the four days I was there.” — Sharon Murphy

Thankfully, as other services open up, Murphy now has access to physiotherapy and chiropractic care to aid in her recovery over the next few months. She’s currently recovering at home, with help from her husband.

Aside from the surgery, Murphy said the staff at St. Joe’s made the experience as stress-free as possible. Upon entering the hospital, there were volunteers at the door taking temperatures and hand sanitizer throughout the hospital. Staff also provided very clear direction on where to go. Murphy was discharged on June 14.

“Everything was fantastic,” she said. “I felt very lucky and safe in the four days I was there.”

Murphy said patients shouldn’t feel nervous about going to the hospital. The City of Hamilton employee has no fears over returning to the hospital for her July followup.

Murphy praised the integrative care program at St. Joe’s, which encourages patients to do as much as they can, to the best of their abilities, she said.

Dr. Anthony Adili, chief of surgery at St. Joseph’s, and Dr. Stephen Kelly, surgeon in chief at Hamilton Health Sciences, have been working closely as part of a committee examining the ramp-up of surgical procedures in Ontario’s southwest hospital region.

As part of the analysis, said Adili, health officials have been careful to restart procedures without overwhelming the system. Hospitals are also cognizant to drug issues, personal protective equipment, patient flow and any challenges health-care partners may be having with patient beds.

“It’s been a slow, gradual ramp-up and we’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been able to maintain the urgent cancer surgeries and semi-urgent surgeries,” said Adili.

While procedures like knee replacements are considered elective, Adili acknowledged they are important to protect and enhance patients’ quality of life and ability to work.

Kelly said the Juravinski was also fortunate to maintain most of its cancer work when activities ramped down in the earlier days of the pandemic.

“We have had good feedback from our patient-family adviser groups, telling us cancer and cardiac (surgery are) important, but don’t forget about chronic, disabling pain,” said Kelly.

Now that procedures such as joint surgeries are opening up once again, it’s anticipated there could be a slight increase in cancer surgeries as well, as diagnostic activities, such as colonoscopies, also begin ramping up.

Kelly and Adili both stress that hospitals are safe places to visit and patients shouldn’t let fears of contracting COVID-19 prevent them from accessing care.

“Hospitals are safe places to have care and if you need to come to a hospital, you should come to a hospital,” said Kelly.

In a joint statement on June 24, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s announced new protocols that enable visitors to enter hospitals once again.

“We were very cognizant of the lack of people having support and caregivers with them in the hospital when we ramped down,” said Kelly. “But now that we have a slightly better situation, we’re very keen to get them back into a hospital setting.”

Family members and care partners 18 and older are now permitted to visit in-patient areas of the hospitals between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at HHS and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Joe’s.

One family member or caregiver can be present at a patient’s bedside at one time. The patient can choose up to two family members or caregivers to visit on designated days.

Visitors will notice new physical distancing protocols inside waiting rooms, where a certain number of chairs will be taped off to keep people apart.

All visitors are screened at the front door and required to wear masks.

“As well as the masking, we do want people to physically distance,” said Kelly. “Certainly, when you’re in a room with your loved one and you want to give them a hug, I don’t think anyone is going to stop you doing that. But certainly, we don’t want anyone congregating together in cafeterias or anything like that. We want to make sure people keep up physical distancing. If someone’s having a procedure or operation, they have to somebody with them.”

'I felt very lucky and safe': Hamilton hospitals ramp up elective surgeries, allow visiting

Don't hesitate to seek care, say health officials

News Jun 27, 2020 by Mike Pearson Hamilton Mountain News

While she’s admittedly still enduring some pain, Sharon Murphy isn’t stressing out over her next hospital visit.

Murphy, 57, was among the first patients to receive elective surgery at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, as the hospital’s Charlton campus gradually ramped up activities in June.

Murphy had her right knee replacement surgery on June 11. She was originally slated to receive the procedure in mid-March before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of all elective procedures.

“Every day it gets a little bit better,” said Murphy. “It’s a very, very painful procedure.”

“I felt very lucky and safe in the four days I was there.” — Sharon Murphy

Thankfully, as other services open up, Murphy now has access to physiotherapy and chiropractic care to aid in her recovery over the next few months. She’s currently recovering at home, with help from her husband.

Aside from the surgery, Murphy said the staff at St. Joe’s made the experience as stress-free as possible. Upon entering the hospital, there were volunteers at the door taking temperatures and hand sanitizer throughout the hospital. Staff also provided very clear direction on where to go. Murphy was discharged on June 14.

“Everything was fantastic,” she said. “I felt very lucky and safe in the four days I was there.”

Murphy said patients shouldn’t feel nervous about going to the hospital. The City of Hamilton employee has no fears over returning to the hospital for her July followup.

Murphy praised the integrative care program at St. Joe’s, which encourages patients to do as much as they can, to the best of their abilities, she said.

Dr. Anthony Adili, chief of surgery at St. Joseph’s, and Dr. Stephen Kelly, surgeon in chief at Hamilton Health Sciences, have been working closely as part of a committee examining the ramp-up of surgical procedures in Ontario’s southwest hospital region.

As part of the analysis, said Adili, health officials have been careful to restart procedures without overwhelming the system. Hospitals are also cognizant to drug issues, personal protective equipment, patient flow and any challenges health-care partners may be having with patient beds.

“It’s been a slow, gradual ramp-up and we’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been able to maintain the urgent cancer surgeries and semi-urgent surgeries,” said Adili.

While procedures like knee replacements are considered elective, Adili acknowledged they are important to protect and enhance patients’ quality of life and ability to work.

Kelly said the Juravinski was also fortunate to maintain most of its cancer work when activities ramped down in the earlier days of the pandemic.

“We have had good feedback from our patient-family adviser groups, telling us cancer and cardiac (surgery are) important, but don’t forget about chronic, disabling pain,” said Kelly.

Now that procedures such as joint surgeries are opening up once again, it’s anticipated there could be a slight increase in cancer surgeries as well, as diagnostic activities, such as colonoscopies, also begin ramping up.

Kelly and Adili both stress that hospitals are safe places to visit and patients shouldn’t let fears of contracting COVID-19 prevent them from accessing care.

“Hospitals are safe places to have care and if you need to come to a hospital, you should come to a hospital,” said Kelly.

In a joint statement on June 24, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s announced new protocols that enable visitors to enter hospitals once again.

“We were very cognizant of the lack of people having support and caregivers with them in the hospital when we ramped down,” said Kelly. “But now that we have a slightly better situation, we’re very keen to get them back into a hospital setting.”

Family members and care partners 18 and older are now permitted to visit in-patient areas of the hospitals between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at HHS and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Joe’s.

One family member or caregiver can be present at a patient’s bedside at one time. The patient can choose up to two family members or caregivers to visit on designated days.

Visitors will notice new physical distancing protocols inside waiting rooms, where a certain number of chairs will be taped off to keep people apart.

All visitors are screened at the front door and required to wear masks.

“As well as the masking, we do want people to physically distance,” said Kelly. “Certainly, when you’re in a room with your loved one and you want to give them a hug, I don’t think anyone is going to stop you doing that. But certainly, we don’t want anyone congregating together in cafeterias or anything like that. We want to make sure people keep up physical distancing. If someone’s having a procedure or operation, they have to somebody with them.”