WAYNE – Hospitals across the country are facing challenges that they would like to avoid when it comes to COVID patients at their facility and still dealing with daily elective procedures.
Jim Frank, CEO at Providence Medical Center said they’re seeing the same trend as every hospital in Nebraska and the midwest.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients that we’ve seen and that have been treated in the hospital,” said Frank. “So, we do have some concerns that if the current trend does continue, that we may be at a point where our hospitals could be at capacity.”
COVID patients are generally coming into PMC from either the ER or the clinic and are being tested again prior to be placed in droplet isolation which requires full PPE to protect the staff and patient. The course of treatment has been standardized across the country.
On October 15 there were 323 hospitalizations in Nebraska, on October 31 there were 612, November 15 there were 914 and as of Tuesday there were 938 showing a dramatic increase over the past four weeks.
Frank also posted a letter for PMC patients and area communities stating he is ‘deeply troubled as to what the future may bring unless we take action very soon.’ He added more about the three C’s from Governor Ricketts.
“Close contacts, crowded places and confined spaces,” Frank added. “All those things will help us reduce the amount of coronavirus being transmitted and in turn that’ll help the healthcare workers.”
A concern comes from if hospitals reach a certain number of hospitalizations, then elective procedures must be reduced which PMC would like to avoid.
As of Tuesday, there were five COVID patients in the hospital. PMC peaked as high as 16 total patients as the average daily census over the course of a year is about 6-7 patients.
Providence Medical Center has an isolated area called the ‘COVID Unit’ since it’s physically separated from the general population.
“All the staff that goes in and out of those areas has to wear full PPE which is personal protective equipment,” Frank mentioned. “So, we do that of course to keep our staff safe from contracting the virus themselves.”
Visit providencemedical.com for more information or call PMC at 402-375-3800.
Hear the complete ‘View from Wayne America’ with Jim Frank talking about COVID in Wayne America. The interview will air just after 9 a.m. on Big Red Country ‘KTCH’ and just after 6 p.m. on The City ‘KCTY’ 98.9/1590 as well as waynedailynews.com on Thursday, November 19.