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Bryan, CHI Health plan to resume elective surgeries May 4
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Bryan, CHI Health plan to resume elective surgeries May 4

Doctors Outpatient Surgery Center

Bryan Health and CHI Health both plan to resume elective surgeries Monday.

Both of Lincoln's major hospital systems are planning to resume elective surgeries Monday.

CHI Health announced Tuesday that it will resume the surgeries at both CHI St. Elizabeth and CHI Nebraska Heart.

“While they may not be considered urgent, we know many patients in our community have been putting off procedures that are important for their overall health and well-being,” Derek Vance, president of CHI St. Elizabeth and CHI Nebraska Heart, said in a news release. “We want those patients to know our surgeons and hospital staff stand ready to care for them in a safe environment.”

CHI Health said any patient having an elective surgery must test negative for COVID-19. The test has to be done at least three days before the scheduled surgery and results must be received by noon the day before the surgery; otherwise, the procedure will be canceled.

With operating rooms largely dark, revenue down 30% for both Lincoln hospital systems

Bryan Health also said it plans to start doing elective surgeries Monday, but it will ease into the procedures.

Bryan will start with procedures on healthy people who will require no more than a 24-hour stay in the hospital, said John Woodrich, CEO of Bryan Medical Center.

It will do that for a couple of weeks and monitor how it goes, including how much personal protective equipment and blood are needed.

If everything goes smoothly, Woodrich said, the hospital will progress to doing procedures that require no more than a 48-hour stay and then monitor the situation for a similar period of time.

Unlike CHI Health, Bryan will not require negative COVID-19 tests for all surgeries. It will put all patients through a screening process and only require tests for certain people based on their screening results.

However, Woodrich did say that any patients getting surgeries that involve the respiratory tract, such as a bronchoscopy or nasal endoscopy, would need to have a negative test.

Lincoln hospitals and surgery centers postpone elective surgeries

He said the goal is to make sure Bryan can keep proper levels of equipment in stock before resuming its previous volume of elective surgeries.

Having appropriate levels of protective equipment is one of the criteria Gov. Pete Ricketts set as requirements hospitals must follow to be able to resume elective surgeries. The others are having at least 30% of regular beds, intensive care beds and ventilators available.

Bryan, CHI Health and other surgery centers in Lincoln voluntarily suspended elective procedures more than a month ago to help preserve masks, gloves, gowns and other protective equipment. Both hospital systems said they have seen revenue drops of more than 30% since then.

Bryan, CHI Health seeing most non-COVID-19 patients via telehealth
Lincoln hospitals well-equipped to handle growing coronavirus cases

Photos: Lincoln under the pandemic

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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