Staffing shortages cause some metro Detroit hospitals to temporarily close some beds

Posted at 5:33 AM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 05:33:06-04

(WXYZ) — The COVID-19 pandemic staffing shortage is now extending to hospitals, including Henry Ford Health System right here in metro Detroit.

The leadership there says the hospital is eliminating more than 100 hospital beds at a time when they're desperately needed.

It comes despite 98% of the Henry Ford staff being vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Tuesday, with the mandate target date of last Friday to avoid suspension.

Staffing shortages have been hitting various industries nationwide, and now they're hitting the healthcare systems right here in our backyard.

Dr. Adnan Munkarah, the chief clinical officer for the health system, said the hospitals have been very, very busy.

That's led to a strain on the ER system and wait times are increasing due to the newest rise in COVID-19 cases.

According to Munkarah, the hospital is at 95% capacity for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related cases.

"We are flexing our bed capacity to maintain our full spectrum of services across our healthcare system. We also urge patients not to delay a critical medical situation," he said.

Because of the staffing shortage, he says the health system is eliminating 7%, or 120 hospital beds, from it's five hospitals in Detroit and Jackson. Most beds eliminated were general medicine beds, but some ICU beds were also eliminated.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are up 15% in the last two weeks at Henry Ford. There are 129 patients hospitalized across their five hospitals.

At the University of Michigan, their health system is also taking 13 beds offline until the end of this week due to staffing shortages.

Beaumont Health, in the past, has adjusted services and bed capacity when they were dealing with staffing shortages. At times, they have closed up 130 in-patient beds at various times due to staffing.

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