Home Features Health Arizona Surgeons Experience Record Demand Due to Pandemic Backlog
 
 

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Post-quarantine life can mean all sorts of things. For many surgeons, it just means a higher demand for elective surgeries. Cosmetic surgery has been seeing a boom across the country, including Arizona. The boom in elective surgeries is happening because people are no longer afraid of COVID-19. It's important to understand how Arizona's medical industry is responding to the demand.

Addressing Covid-19

Yes, folks aren't scared to go to the hospital, but Covid-19 isn't over. While many people have gotten the vaccine, there's still a chunk of people who haven't. Hospitals in Arizona have to grapple with this reality, so even though they can accept these patients, they have to do so carefully. Surgeons and the staff still have to protect themselves. They have to find out if the patients had the vaccine, or they'll have to test them. Many hospitals are still doing their best to keep all the necessary equipment to deal with this sickness, like personal protection equipment. All this is meant to keep everyone safe, especially the staff taking significant risks through the pandemic.

Prioritizing

Hospitals experiencing an uptick in back surgeries and other medical operations also have to deal with the fact that some of these surgeries aren't as important as others. Elective surgeries vary in severity. If they were elective, they aren't necessary to live. Most cosmetic surgeries, for example, aren't as important as hip replacement surgery. This is something surgeons and doctors have to figure out. They have to prioritize the more serious surgeries and make folks who don't have a serious issue wait even longer to get an appointment. There's no doubt this is a frustrating situation, but it's something everyone's experiencing.

Rearranging Schedules

Workweeks are scheduled with precision to ensure surgeons and assistants are well-rested. The problem with that schedule is there's a significant backlog that hospitals have to deal with. Many health care centers are tweaking their workweeks so that they can address this backlog. Schedule changes are typically incremental, like working one extra day or something like that. The risks a hospital takes by overworking a physician or anyone else in a hospital are significant, so these tweaks must be kept to a minimum. Still, there's no denying that changing people's schedules around will be helpful right now.

Expanding

There's a major hospital staff shortage right now. The shortage could be linked to the fact that some health care providers simply left the practice because the pandemic brought so much stress and anxiety. Now networks of providers are working together to get caught up. Some patients may need extra consultation or testing before undergoing surgery so streamlining processes like visits with an orthopedist or getting an MRI for a herniated disc can help more patients move through the process in less time . Elective surgeries were the backbone of some hospitals. It was the way these institutions made most of their money, so they want to catch up as soon as possible.

Optimization

Hospitals don't always pay attention to how optimized their surgical services are. They think that everything is running smoothly, but they haven't dug into it to determine if this is the case. There's no time for any of that now for hospitals that want to catch up with their backlog. It's vital to work with surgical navigators to help optimize the patient experience. A navigator will call patients, schedule follow-ups, answer questions and may help folks feel comfortable. All of this has to occur, or hospitals will experience delays, which will slow things down. A good hospital in Arizona will need to optimize the patient experience to run as smoothly as possible, which should help improve reviews.

Keep in mind that these are some ways surgeons and hospitals in Arizona respond to the record demand. It's essential to continue to keep an eye on how everything continues to develop.