UK HealthCare announces tiered alert system in COVID-19 Update

Link to Wednesday Press Conference 

Managing our elective surgeries differently

As you know, we have been actively working for the past several days with the Kentucky Hospital Association, other health care and hospital leaders in the state and our UK HealthCare clinical leadership team to be responsive to the governor's directive to cease elective procedures.

They are asking us to do so to preserve the personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects our health care workers and patients.

This action also enables us to create capacity within our hospitals in preparation for the expected increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as preserving access to equipment, such as ventilators, necessary for the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

Earlier, Dr. Barry Inabnet, the Johnston-Wright Endowed Professor and Chair of surgery; Dr. Chris Desimone, associate chief medical officer for perioperative services; and Jennifer Rose, chief administrative officer, shared information with UK surgeons about our proactive plan that includes a tiered alert system.

The intention is to balance available resources against elective procedures that utilize those resources.

The tiers focus on our continued need to take care of our patients and to perform urgent and emergent cases that cannot wait extended periods without causing harm.
I want to reassure our patients and the community that we are here to meet their needs for urgent and emergent surgery.

In addition, our plan takes into consideration the needs we project COVID-19 patients will have, with flexibility to move to another tier as that need rises.

This process – drawn from best practices found around the world -- is a dynamic, daily assessment meant to protect our patients and you during this unprecedented public health event.
We will begin to implement this tiered alert system tomorrow, Thursday, March 19.

Mark F. Newman, MD
Executive VP for Health Affairs