New pre-operative, point-of-care testing begins week of Jan. 10

Last month, we announced that we would resume COVID-19 testing within three days prior to surgeries and procedures taking place at all Ohio hospitals and Family Health Centers. This process primarily relied on SelfCheck COVID-19 Swabbing Kits.

Due to caregiver demand for SelfCheck kits, we are introducing point-of-care testing for all outpatient surgeries and procedures in most Ohio hospital ORs and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). This allows for a more sustainable pre-operative testing approach. Please find additional details below.

When & Where

Pre-operative testing will be available for all outpatient surgeries and procedures in most Ohio hospital ORs and ASCs early the week of Jan. 10. Point of care testing is not currently available at Mercy Hospital, Union Hospital or Ashtabula County Medical Center.

Expanded point-of-care testing will continue to evolve, to potentially include other procedures and locations. If point-of-care testing is not available for a procedure or location, please use other available testing options or follow the appropriate surgical workflow. Refer to the COVID-19 Toolkit for more details.

What

  • For surgical patients scheduled for surgery or procedures with planned admission following the procedure, we are still following current workflows which include SelfCheck PCR or a scheduled PCR test performed no more than 72 hours before surgery.
  • For outpatient surgical procedures:
    • A patient will undergo point-of-care testing. The patient, surgeon and anesthesiologist will be informed of the result.
    • If positive, and the surgery is not urgent or emergent, the surgery will be delayed.
    • If positive, and the surgery is urgent or emergent, the surgery will proceed with appropriate isolation and PPE.
    • A PCR confirmation test is not required, as the point-of-care test is as reliant as a PCR test.
    • If negative, the surgery will proceed.

If a patient has a history of COVID-19 in the last 10-20 days, follow the standard surgical workflow. A point-of-care test should not be used for a patient who has tested positive with a PCR test in the past 90 days.

How

A Nucleic Acid Amplification Test, or NAAT, will be used for pre-operative, point-of-care testing. According to the CDC, NAATs are highly sensitive for diagnosing COVID-19 and are unlikely to return a false-negative result of COVID-19.

Why

As we continue to see COVID-19 cases increase due to omicron, testing pre-operative patients supports our safe delivery of care. It helps us avoid unnecessary post-operative complications due to COVID-19. Pre-operative testing also keeps caregivers safe by reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Thank you for your flexibility during this process. If you have questions, please reach out to [email protected].