Hospital staff exposure affects bed capacity
n a joint news release from agencies within the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), concerns have been voiced from the Kansas City region’s hospital chief medical officers. Due to COVID-19, hospitals are at a critical juncture between concern and crisis, according to the public health officials within the MARC region.
MARC is a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region. Governed by a board of directors made up of local elected officials, MARC serves nine counties and 119 cities.
“Bed capacity is a significant concern. Hospitals reported becoming aware recently that the hospital data available regarding bed capacity and utilization is not aligning with what hospital staff see in their wards and units every day. We were pleased to hear they will be working hard to remedy that and provide more usable, real world data about the availability of staffed beds that can be used for COVID-19 patients to help health departments and elected officials make recommendations and decisions to protect our community,” states Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of the Johnson County (Kan.) Department of Health and Environment.
The joint news release came from public health officials from Cass County, Clay County, Jackson County, City of Kansas City, Platte County Health Department, Ray County in Missouri, and Johnson County, Wyandotte, Miami County and Leavenworth County on the Kansas side.
According to those public health officials, hospital infection control is at an all-time high and hospitals are protecting staff and patients from COVID-19 spread in their facilities.
“However, the growing level of community spread is also impacting bed capacity by reducing staff availability due to staff being exposed to COVID-19 out in the community,” the news release explains.
Hospitals are growing increasingly concerned about having to delay procedures, treatments and surgeries for patients who truly need them. Delayed or deferred care can create bad outcomes for patients, their families and the community, officials said.
Health officials say the public plays an important role in slowing down the region’s current widespread transmission of COVID-19. Public health officials believe it is more imperative than ever to:
.Physically distance (six feet or more) from others you don’t live with.
.Stay home if you are sick.
.Avoid crowded indoor gatherings at homes, restaurants, bars and other event venues where transmission is more likely to occur.
.Practice good hand hygiene.