Guidance for Discussions with Your Surgery Patients

Guidance for Discussions with Your Surgery Patients

In these uncertain times, your patients and their caregivers may have more questions than usual about what to expect before and after surgery. Consult this checklist to address proactively any concerns your patients might have specifically related to COVID-19.

Before Arrival:

  • Describe the safety measures a patient needs to take before entering your facility, including mask and glove requirements.
  • Describe what a patient should do upon developing flu-like symptoms before surgery.
  • Describe how a patient might reschedule a procedure if it is postponed for any reason.

Testing and Screening:

  • Describe your facility’s COVID-19 testing and screening protocols for patients on arrival.
  • Describe the COVID-19 testing and screening policy for employees at your facility.
  • Describe your facility’s testing practices and requirements for patients before surgery, and provide information for where patients can get tested.

Facility Protocols:

  • Describe the location of the entrance a patient should use to enter your facility, as well as whether they will be greeted by a staff member and how best to get to the surgery location.
  • Describe the waiting room policy and elevator policy.
  • Describe your facility’s policy on visitors and support persons.
  • Describe any restrictions or requirements for bringing personal articles into your facility.
  • Describe any precautions a patient should take while in the recovery area.
  • Describe any precautions a patient should take if staying overnight.

Infection Prevention:

  • Describe your facility’s infection control protocols, including disinfecting frequency, using masks and personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer use, social distancing, controlling numbers of people in waiting rooms, and more.
  • Describe how your facility differentiates between surgery and recovery areas for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
  • Describe how your facility differentiates between staff assigned to COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.


  • Describe the discharge plans for your patient.
  • Describe whether COVID-19 will affect your patient’s recovery plans, including physical distancing precautions and/or instructions for operating a thermometer or pulse oximetry.
  • Describe whether the surgery will put a patient at higher risk for COVID-19 during recovery.
  • Describe what a patient should do if COVID-19 symptoms develop after surgery.
  • If home healthcare services are an option during recovery, describe any precautions your patient should take.
  • Describe your patient’s needed follow-up appointments, and whether telehealth is an option, including phone, video, or email communication.


Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies Elective Surgery Survey. Accessed August 4, 2020. About the Survey: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of DePuy Synthes from July 9-13, 2020 among 2,016 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. (CLICK TO PDF)

The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before you make decisions about your health.

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