COVID-19 response unites perioperative teams at a recently merged health care system


Advocate Aurora Health, located in the north-central United States, is the result of a merger between two large health care organizations in April 2018. The health care system comprises 26 hospitals, offers more than 500 sites of care, and employs 75,000 team members. This article discusses the effects that coronavirus disease 2019 had on the perioperative services departments while directors and site leaders were still managing the complexities of the merger. Included are strategies used to address the challenges created by the pandemic, special considerations based on level-of-care capacity, the effect that the hold on elective surgeries had on staffing assignments, the reactivation process when elective surgery resumed, and the importance of keeping the perioperative team members informed and safe. It also illustrates how facing the challenges caused by the pandemic helped to solidify the merger of the two health care organizations.

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