UC Health activates surge operations with rising demand for inpatient COVID-19 care

UC Health activates surge operations with rising demand for inpatient COVID-19 care
UC Health said they have reached all-time highs in our area for cases, hospitalizations and critical care hospitalizations. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - UC Health activated their surge operations on Monday to help accommodate the rising demand for inpatient COVID-19 care.

According to UC Health Director of Corporate Media Relations Amanda Nageleisen, the number of COVID patients within southwest Ohio hospitals has more than doubled since Halloween.

UC Health outlined the measures for surge operations:

External Transfers from Other Hospitals: Effective immediately, no external transfer can be accepted to an ICU without the approval of the critical care attending on service for that particular unit.

Elective Surgeries – Inpatient and Outpatient: Effective Monday, Nov. 16, a 50% reduction of inpatient elective cases will begin. This will be monitored daily for necessary changes as recommended by the Perioperative Clinical Domain Team. Outpatient elective cases will continue to be monitored for possible reduction.

Elective Procedures – Inpatient and Outpatient: Effective Monday, Nov. 16, a 50% reduction of elective inpatient procedures will begin. Inpatients awaiting a procedure prior to discharge can go forward. Outpatient elective procedures will continue to be monitored for possible reduction.

Ambulatory/Outpatient Care: Effective immediately, practices will move patient appointments to telehealth where appropriate and feasible, and will reduce non-time essential visits, as they deem appropriate.

Staffing: Surge status and planning includes activating disaster plan staffing for physicians through the site medical executive committees, nurses and clinical staff. Employees may be asked to help in new ways by completing new or different tasks, working different hours or even assisting at different locations within our organization.

"As we all know, COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout our country and in our region. We have reached all-time highs in our area for cases, hospitalizations and critical care hospitalizations in a day, and models project numbers 60% higher by Thanksgiving than we are experiencing today.

This is causing a tremendous burden on the healthcare systems in our region. Our primary concern is having adequate staffing to safely care for patients and to ensure the health and well-being of our employees.

We must take steps today to deal with the coming patient surge," UC Health said to employees.

On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a statewide curfew starting Thursday, Nov. 19 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The curfew will be in effect for 21 days from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The governor said that cutting down personal contact, social distancing and mask-wearing will go a long way to reduce the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We are at a critical juncture. We need to protect our healthcare workers. Even if we take necessary changes immediately, it will take weeks before we see improvement in hospital numbers. Even if you don’t believe in masks, please wear one,” Ohio’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said.

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