Now that elective surgical and endoscopic procedures have resumed at Columbus Regional Hospital, General Surgeon Michael Dorenbusch, MD, of Southern Indiana Surgery wants patients to know that they should schedule their procedures and should feel safe doing so. “We are taking all the measures that we possibly can to make sure it is a safe environment for patients to have surgical or diagnostic procedures done,” he said. “I am comfortable that we are doing everything we can,” he said.
He said that, while some patients have been hesitant to schedule a procedure due to concerns about COVID-19, patients are starting to feel more comfortable. “We have been able to reassure them that we do things as safely as possible,” he added. One thing that has helped patients feel more comfortable is that all patients who are scheduled to have an elective procedure will be tested for COVID-19 within 24-48 hours prior to their surgery. Dr. Dorenbusch credits Laboratory Services Director Matt Chaille and his team for procuring a large number of tests early on to be able to conduct these tests prior to surgeries.
Dr. Dorenbusch has been in practice at Southern Indiana Surgery for 25 years. He is also chairman of Surgery CoManagement, which is a group of about 35 physicians and hospital leadership who collectively manage Columbus Regional Health’s operating room services. He said that when COVID-19 first hit our community, as a safety measure, all hospital elective surgical and endoscopic procedures were canceled.
They continued to perform any emergent, life-threatening procedures. That operational change remained in place for about six weeks. The Southern Indiana Surgery team was able to conduct telehealth visits immediately as they had already been doing such visits with their bariatric program. “We could keep our patients safe by not bringing them in but still staying in touch with them,” Dr. Dorenbusch said. He anticipates that telehealth will continue to be a part of patient care after the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to see patients who do not need to come into the office.
In the 25 years that Dr. Dorenbusch has been practicing, what he most enjoys is helping patients.
“Getting to know the patient, figuring out what is wrong, coming up with a solution, and the satisfaction of knowing that when you meet someone who is sick or injured and getting them better – I think that is what most of us physicians enjoy,” he shared.
If you are a patient at Southern Indiana Surgery and need to schedule an appointment or procedure, please call 812-372-2245.