DES PLAINES, Ill., May 12th, 2020 — Illinois Bone & Joint Institute (IBJI), the largest independent, physician-owned orthopedic practice in Illinois, began COVID-19 testing for their patients on Friday, May 8th. IBJI made the decision to organize testing for their pre-surgical patients after Governor Pritzker lifted restrictions on elective surgery beginning on Monday, May 11th.
IBJI will hold drive through tests for patients on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the parking lot of the Des Plaines and Hinsdale locations. As surgery scheduling resumes, IBJI schedulers are calling patients to schedule time slots for drive through testing. Tests are performed 72 hours prior to surgery to ensure the testing lab has 48 hours to process results. Patients must receive a negative COVID-19 test to move forward with their procedure.
Maureen Zizzo, Administrator for IBJI’s Des Plaines Physician’s office, explains the process of putting the drive through testing station together. “A committee of individuals within [IBJI’s] central business office helped to make this happen. Physicians teamed up with our safety, risk, marketing, patient experience, legal, and purchasing departments to research which test we might be able to obtain to perform COVID-19 testing on pre-surgical patients. This team then collaborated with human resources to help put together a playbook and an operational plan.”
IBJI is committed to patient safety and has trained their Physician Assistants to perform the test as an effort to provide support to hospitals and care to patients. During a drive through test, a physician’s assistant, who is fully protected in personal protective equipment, goes to the patient’s car, verifies identification of the patient, and performs a swab test for COVID-19. The collection is placed in a proper tube and prepared to send to the lab for results. Patients will then receive a phone call from the physician’s surgical team with their results.
“It’s important for us to do this because we want our surgeons to be able to take care of their patients and the patients are very anxious to have their surgeries that they’ve been waiting for. Like everything with COVID-19, it’s fast paced and rather intense to pull it off, but with our teamwork and team members, we were able to make this happen,” said Zizzo.
Due to the high volume of rescheduled procedures, we appreciate the understanding and patience from our patients as we work with hospitals and surgery centers to adapt and comply with the recommended guidance. IBJI staff will be reaching out to patients on an individual basis to discuss rescheduling and COVID-19 testing options.
COVID-19 testing at IBJI is only available for IBJI surgical patients who have been contacted directly and have been scheduled for testing by their providers. Testing is not open to the public.
About Illinois Bone & Joint Institute
Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, is the largest independent physician-owned orthopedic practice in Illinois. IBJI is dedicated to providing accessible, compassionate, and comprehensive care to your family for every orthopedic specialty with leading-edge technology and innovative treatment options. For more information, please visit ibji.com.