How Dr. Richard Berger is limiting COVID-19 exposure for out-of-state patients


With out-of-state patients representing about 50 percent of his caseload, Richard Berger, MD, has revamped protocols "to ensure safety and limit exposure."

Dr. Berger performs joint replacements at Chicago-based Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Rush Oak Brook (Ill.) Surgery Center. He and his staff have rescheduled nearly 50 out-of-state patients for surgery in the first month of resuming elective cases.

Facility changes include installing plexiglass shields to separate patients and anesthesia clinicians, requiring all patients to be tested for COVID-19 before surgery, and using hotels and cars as makeshift waiting rooms.

Patients traveling from out of town will receive point-of-care testing when they arrive. Additionally, Dr. Berger's team is using iPads to take temperatures the day of surgery. Patients and staff can have their temperatures read by stepping in front of the device for touchless screening.

Strict social distancing measures will be followed before, during and after surgery. Telehealth services are available for pre- and postoperative appointments.

More articles on orthopedics:
28.4M elective surgeries could be canceled in 2020 — orthopedic procedures hit hardest
Research finds lowest average cost of hip, knee replacements at 3 New York City hospitals
Texas orthopedic group snares 2 paycheck protection program loans 

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