Apr 8, 2020

Interview Transcript

Interviewer: Many hospitals around the country, including University of Utah Health, have canceled non-essential procedures. However, if you do need to get a surgery or some other sort of procedure because it is absolutely necessary, you might be wondering, is it safe to do so in a world of COVID-19?

Dr. Tom Miller is a Chief Medical Officer at University of Utah Health, and he says while there is a chance that you could get COVID-19 by going to the hospital, that chance is really small.

Dr. Miller: There's a chance that you could get COVID-19 in the community, and there is a slight chance that you could always get COVID-19 in the hospital. However, I would tell you that we have locked down our facilities in terms of the protective equipment that people are wearing. We disinfect surfaces constantly. We practice physical distancing. When we are seeing patients as employees, we are wearing the prescribed protective equipment. That would be gloves, masks, goggles.

For anybody who has COVID-19, we are limiting visitors. We have a very strict visitor policy now, as do other hospitals in the area. So we're watching that very, very closely, and we're implementing different techniques on an ongoing basis to really push down the possibility of contracting COVID-19 in our hospital. It's very important to us because we have to keep our health care workers as healthy as possible to help you and the public if you need us. So it's super important for us.

Interviewer: Dr. Miller goes on to say communication is key. If you have an upcoming procedure or medical appointment and you do have concerns, call your health care provider beforehand so you can have an open and honest conversation about it to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

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