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State officials update guidelines for non-essential medical procedures

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Posted at 10:05 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 22:05:26-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — Michigan state officials announced Monday additional guidelines for non-essential medical and dental procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The initial guidelines were put in place in late March in response to the health crisis, as a means to ensure that health care systems had enough staffing, bed capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidelines were announced under Executive order 2020-17.

“The executive order gives providers broad discretion,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive at MDHHS. “I applaud our frontline health care providers who put their lives at risk, and who are engaged in efforts to continue to care for their patients in the safest way possible. The guidelines should assist in determining the best way to treat patients without delaying needed medical services.”

Additional recommendations, which were shared with providers to answer questions on how patients can be served safely during the pandemic, are listed below.

  • Limiting in-person contact as much as possible, and implementing best practices for infection prevention and control, such as maximizing the use of telehealth, eliminating waiting room times, requiring patients to wear masks, and more.
  • Prioritizing in-person patient interactions and face-to-face appointments for the most vulnerable patients, and for necessary services like immunizations.
  • Reassuring patients of appropriate safety measures such as expanded testing and PPE.
  • Assuring appropriate surge capacity and developing emergency plans including how to gradually start doing more procedures, conserving PPE, and ensuring adequate supplies and staffing.

Additional details on the guidelines are available in the communication now posted at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

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