April 21, 2020

Florida Hospital Association Announces Plan for Safely Resuming Elective Procedures

FHA shared its 'OPEN' Plan with Governor DeSantis' Task Force to Re-Open Florida 

April 21, 2020 (Tallahassee) -  Today the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) shared with Governor DeSantis' Task Force to Re-Open Florida a plan for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to safely resume elective surgeries and procedures. FHA's OPEN plan is designed to serve as a position paper for the Task Force as it builds out its recommendations.  

In March, the FHA Board of Trustees voted to postpone elective procedures to preserve personal protective equipment for our workforce. FHA proudly stood in support of Governor DeSantis's executive order as a necessary and critical step to prepare and respond to COVID-19 patient surge in our hospitals.  

Four weeks later, data indicate that evidenced-based strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve are working in Florida. Hospitalizations and mortality have stabilized. While these are positive indications, we hope to see greater, sustained improvement in the weeks ahead. 

"Florida's hospitals remain vigilant," said FHA Interim President Crystal Stickle. "We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our patients, employees and communities. This has been, and will continue to be, our top priority. With our mission to care as the guiding principle, the FHA developed several recommendations for consideration as hospitals resume elective procedures."  

Central to the OPEN plan are assessment of community needs and circumstances, as well as individual facility capacity and clinician support. Decisions about when to resume procedures, and to what extent, likely will vary by facility. Key provisions of the OPEN plan include:

1. Observe the COVID-19 rate of occurrence in the community.
2. Prevent transmission of COVID-19 to patients and health care providers.
3. Establish a transparent and collaborative prioritization process to guide restoration of elective surgery and procedures.
4. Network with all health care providers across the continuum of care to fully restore health care services.

View the OPEN Plan in its entirety online.

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About the Florida Hospital Association
The Florida Hospital Association comprises over 200 hospitals and health systems from across the state. Through representation and advocacy, education and informational services, we support the mission of our members to provide the highest quality of care to the patients we serve. For more information, visit www.fha.org.