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Dr. O’Shaughnessy Talks With CBS This Morning About CHS's COVID-19 Preparedness

March 19th, 2020
Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy

On March 18th, CBS This Morning featured Catholic Health Services’s Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA, MS-PopH, FACEP, CHCQM, discussing how Catholic Health Services (CHS) is prepared for a possible influx of patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Part of the strategy, according to Dr. O, is the cancellation of hospital-based elective surgeries from March 23 to April 24. This decision will minimize the risk of infection while expanding hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients. Ambulatory procedures outside the hospital setting will continue.

“Things that could be done on an elective basis, are going to be delayed or canceled to free up capacity,” Dr. O’Shaughnessy told CBS This Morning. “Managing the COVID-19 crisis will be more of a marathon and not a sprint.”

During the interview, which took place at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, he discussed other steps CHS has taken to protect patients and staff. This includes a tent and trailer outside Good Sam’s Emergency Department that will allow the medical staff to isolate and evaluate those with symptoms of COVID-19. All CHS hospitals have developed and implemented similar surge capacity protocols and equipment.

Additionally, on March 16, CHS suspended all visitation at its six hospitals and three skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for the safety and protection of patients and staff.

Exceptions for visitation will be made on a case-by-case-basis by hospital and SNF leadership in conjunction with infection prevention leadership and will follow appropriate CDC guidelines for screening for COVID-19 infection BEFORE entry is allowed (exceptions may include end-of-life and newborn delivery).

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the CHS coronavirus page.