Phoenix-based Arizona Digestive Health expects patient volumes in May will be just a fraction of what they were before the pandemic, gastroenterologist Paul Berggreen, MD, told Medscape Medical News.
1. Due to elective procedure restrictions — which were lifted by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey as of May 1 — ADH has been closed for about a month.
2. As it reopens, the practice will prioritize semi-urgent cases rather than purely elective procedures. Patients with rectal bleeding, serious persistent diarrhea or stomach pain that is likely ulcer-related, for instance, will be rescheduled first.
"Elective procedures can still be delayed a little bit longer," said Dr. Berggreen, secretary of the Digestive Health Physicians Association, in an interview with Medscape.
3. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Dr. Berggreen's team at ADH expects to handle about 30 percent of normal volumes in May. To ensure staff and patient safety, ADH will have assigned staff members swab patients in the facility's parking lot and send the samples for lab analysis.