COVID-19 FAQ2020-06-22T15:11:57-07:00

Helping You Feel Prepared for Surgery

Research shows that patients are anxious about returning to hospitals, despite many needing essential or even life-saving procedures. According to new research findings, more than a third of patients would not feel comfortable returning to care until at least three months have passed after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in their area, and one in five would not feel comfortable until over six months have passed.

While this is a challenging and anxious time, hospitals that are restarting essential operations have prepared, and your surgeon and all those providing care, are ready to resume surgery. Patient safety is—and will always be—the top priority.

It is understandable that you—as a patient—may still have questions and specific concerns about the safety of undergoing an operation as COVID-19 continues to impact our community. To help you navigate through this time, we have developed a list of frequently asked questions covering common concerns, such as how the check-in process has changed, what to expect during appointments, safeguards to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and how the ongoing pandemic may change after-operation care.

Please know that we want to hear what is on your mind and answer your questions. Do not delay necessary care that is critical to your long-term health, and do not hesitate to reach out to schedule a discussion with your surgeon.

Frequently Asked Questions

After my operations, can home health care services be arranged instead of a trip to the office or admission to a care facility?2020-06-22T15:10:08-07:00

Yes. Many post-surgical patients qualify for home health care. Please ask your surgeon if home health care is an option for you.

Are telehealth visits or phone calls with a member of my care team an option for me before and after my operation?2020-06-22T15:09:50-07:00

Yes. Northwest Surgical Specialists provides both Telehealth and Virtual check-ins (phone call) options for select initial consultations and post-surgical care. Please inquire with our office or speak to your provider if you prefer one of these options.

Can I have visitors while I recover? If so, how will they be protected while visiting me?2020-06-22T15:09:34-07:00

Yes. Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend, and other Peace Health affiliated hospitals, now allow a single visitor for each patient, and two visitors under certain circumstances. Please refer to the following website for additional details:

As I recover, will having this procedure put me at a higher risk of getting COVID-19? Why or why not?2020-06-22T15:09:13-07:00

The recovery from most operations will not subject you to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 if standard precautions are followed.  We encourage you to discuss this topic with your surgeon if you are concerned.

Is everyone who works at the facility having their temperatures taken and being tested for COVID-19? If so, how often?2020-06-22T15:08:52-07:00

Yes. Every employee and provider is required to pass both temperature and symptom screening testing at least daily.

How has the facility determined that it is now safe to begin scheduling operations?2020-06-22T15:08:33-07:00

Northwest Surgical Specialists and Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend have followed guidance by the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s office and have met criteria to resume elective operations. We and the hospital have maintained an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and the hospital has the prescribed capacity of beds to accommodate a resurgence in COVID cases, if necessary.

What special precautions are being taken to ensure the operating room is safe from COVID-19?2020-06-22T15:08:16-07:00

The operating rooms are deeply cleaned and sanitized before and between each operation. Further, the operating room teams follow strict protective measures including masking, gloving, and frequent hand sanitizing, and all staff are temperature screened before each shift.

Are patients who have COVID-19 in the same facility as me? If so, what safety measures are in place to ensure we are separated?2020-06-22T15:07:56-07:00

Yes, potentially.  However, Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend has dedicated rooms that are segregated from other hospital floors designated specifically for the treatment of individuals infected with COVID-19.

Are the staff members I encounter also treating patients who have COVID-19?2020-06-22T15:07:36-07:00

No. The staff members who treat any individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 infection work on dedicated wards and do not interact with patients in the surgical area or in areas where post-surgical patients recover.

Will I be tested for COVID-19 and have my temperature taken before my operation?2020-06-22T15:07:17-07:00

Yes. All patients who are scheduled for an operation will be tested at a community testing facility or at the hospital on the day of operation.  All patients will have temperature and vital signs checked upon arrival for their operation.

Will there be physical barriers, such as glass or plexiglass, between staff whom I am speaking with? If not, will they be six feet away from me?2020-06-22T15:06:50-07:00

We have glass barriers between our front office and scheduling staff for your protection.

Will I ride in an elevator? Is there an elevator policy? How frequently are the elevators cleaned?2020-06-22T15:06:32-07:00

Our office building has both elevators and a stair well. We request that no more than four individuals occupy the elevator at one time. The elevator and surfaces within the elevator that are routinely touched are sanitized throughout the day.

Do I need to wear a mask? Will all other patients and staff at the surgeon’s office wear masks?2020-06-22T15:06:09-07:00

Yes. We request that all our patients wear a mask or other face covering. Our staff and providers wear masks during all patient interactions.

Will I be with others in a waiting room, or will I be kept in a room away from other patients?2020-06-22T15:05:48-07:00

We have our patients wait in our waiting room, though our waiting area is spacious, and seating is arranged to facilitate distancing.

What can I expect when I arrive for my appointment in terms of COVID-19 protective measures?2020-06-22T15:05:22-07:00

We require that all staff, patients, and visitors practice social distancing, wear face coverings, and follow recommended hygiene. Additionally, our facilities, and especially frequently touch surfaces, are sanitized regularly.