Hospitals reaching crisis-level standard of care: limiting visitations, staff shortages and more long work days ahead
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Another day of record-breaking numbers being seen in hospitals across the state. West Virginia now leads the nation with the most number of covid cases per 100,000 people according to WVU Medicine.
On Friday alone, the United Hospital Center saw over 65 people in their emergency room.
“It’s been nearly every other day, a new peak. Starting today, 67 patients holding in the emergency room, the ICU is full, so what we see on the state map is what we’re seeing locally,” Dr. Mark Povroznik, the chief quality officer at UHC said.
Just last week, Dr. Povroznik told 5 News that the number of patients in the emergency room had reached 60 in one day, now with more record setting numbers almost daily, he said hospitals are close to or are already operating at crisis level.
“It continues to stress hospital facilities and stress our staff, but we currently monitor what we need to do in order to help support beds and maintain capacity,” he said.
WVU Medicine released a statement sharing that 9 of their hospitals are operating at a crisis-level standard of care. Meaning ICUs are full, hospital staff are working extreme hours, and some even having to quarantine due to contact with the virus, causing staff shortages.
Dr. Povroznik said because of this, they have changed visitations hours, which went into effect on Friday, Sept. 17. Bringing about some limitations to help limit a covid spread.
General guidelines for visitation at UHC*:
· Visitation remains restricted to those 16 years of age or older.
· An adult patient admitted to the hospital is limited to one adult visit per day during designated visiting hours. Visitors are not permitted to exit the hospital and return in same day.
· A Labor and Delivery patient is limited to one adult support person visit per 24 hour period.
· A Pediatric patient (pediatric patients only) is limited to one adult support person visit per 24 hour period.
· All approved visitors must wear a mask at all times, and will be screened upon entering the facility.
· If visitor screening is positive, visitation will not be permitted.
· Visitation for COVID-19 positive patients or COVID-19 persons under investigation (PUIs) may be ordered, as per West Virginia House Bill 2368, through a department manager.
· All visitors will receive and must wear a visitor badge to indicate they have been screened.
· Approved visitors for inpatient locations will be confirmed at the entrance Welcome Desk.
· Adult patients are encouraged to attend any diagnostic appointments alone. Patients are asked not to arrive for their appointment more than 15 minutes early.
UHC is encouraging all adult patients to attend their clinic appointments alone, although one visitor may accompany the patient to the exam room and remain in the room during the entire visit. Pediatric clinic patients may have two approved visitors accompany the patient to the exam room and remain in the room during their entire visit. In an effort to minimize the number of people entering its clinics, UHC is requesting that, when
possible, family members and friends stay at home or wait in their vehicles in the clinic parking lot during adult patient appointments. Patients are asked not to arrive for their appointment more than 15 minutes early.
* Exceptions to visitation will be made based on patient condition and on a case-by-case basis by the department leader and/or house supervisor.
If more needs to be done, limiting other operations will have to come into play.
“We clearly have all of those areas that we’ve outlined before, all of those plans ready to continue to roll out, and to roll out those plans, if need be, we’ll have to cut back on surgeries,” Dr. Povroznik said.
UHC has already made some creative moves. Classrooms within the hospital now serve as infusion rooms for monoclonal therapy, in hopes of keeping more space available.
Copyright 2021 WDTV. All rights reserved.