BayCare to Pause Some Elective Procedures in Hillsborough and Polk Counties
BayCare Health System is curtailing some elective procedures in its hospitals in Hillsborough and Polk counties due to a growing census in its hospitals. The change, for now, will only impact elective procedures that require an overnight stay in an inpatient bed.
The hospitals impacted are: St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s and St. Joseph’s Women’s in Tampa; St. Joseph’s North in Lutz; St. Joseph’s South in Riverview; South Florida Baptist in Plant City; Bartow Regional Medical Center; Winter Haven and Winter Haven Women’s.
St. Joseph’s, Winter Haven and Winter Haven Women’s will pause on Thursday, July 29, 2021. The other facilities in Hillsborough and Polk counties will pause on Monday, Aug. 2.
BayCare hospitals in Pinellas and Pasco counties are not impacted.
“Our priority is always patient safety and being sure we are available to serve our communities’ acute health needs,” said Glenn Waters, BayCare’s chief operating officer. “This move is helps us to continue to have capacity to serve those needs.”
The change in Hillsborough and Polk counties applies to procedures that require an overnight stay in an inpatient bed and that can be delayed without danger to the patient.
BayCare will determine at a later date when to start rescheduling appointments.
BayCare hospital and surgery centers began notifying providers of the change late Wednesday. The health care system has a clinical review process to consider requests by patients or doctors who receive a cancellation notice but believe the procedure is medically necessary and should proceed.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, BayCare has been adapting its operations to serve the community during this challenging time, including shifting resources and assets to respond to the spread of the virus – while also making sure facilities are available to serve other health care needs.
BayCare facilities, like elsewhere in the state, have seen a significant increase in COVID-19 patients in the past month as the Delta variant has taken hold in the state. In the past three weeks, COVID patients in BayCare hospitals have increased more than three-fold.