COVID surge leaves CRMC 600 surgeries behind

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – The recent surge in COVID patients at Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) has left almost 600 patients anxiously waiting for outpatient procedures to be restarted and their surgeries scheduled.

According to CRMC CEO Paul Korth, the medical center recently surveyed their physicians to determine the extent of the patient waiting list.  

“We surveyed our doctors, and they’re saying we have 600 surgery patients out there that need to be done,” said Korth. “There’s a backlog. To put that in perspective, that’s almost a month’s worth of surgeries. We’re about 25-28 days behind.” 

Korth said hospital administration is working on some strategies to catch those surgeries up, and he plans to meet with the doctors in the next week to devise a plan of action.

“We feel we can get that caught up probably pretty easily in 45-60 days,” said Korth.

When pressed on when CRMC could restart CRMC outpatient procedures, Korth said, “I look at that every day. As soon as we get to a point where I feel it’s safe, and we can take care of these patients in the hospital, we’ll be opening up those outpatient services as quickly as possible, along with all of our surgical cases.”

Elective surgical/procedure cases have been limited since mid-August. Urgent and emergent surgical cases were not suspended.

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