Nearby maternity ward closures put pressure on short-staffed Pennsylvania hospital

Nurse recruitment and retention and closing maternity departments at nearby hospitals contributed to the strain of an understaffed obstetrics department at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pa., according to a report in The Tribune-Democrat.

A health department inspection conducted in the spring found the hospital "failed to ensure that a sufficient number of nursing personnel were assigned to provide nursing care needs of patients," according to the report. Nurses told The Tribune-Democrat they didn't have time to break for meals.

Since then, the hospital has worked to implement an action plan to improve staffing. It has hired 11 registered nurses and is in the process of hiring two more and an OB tech, according to the report.

"Our mandatory hours, overtime rate, and use of on-call staffing have significantly improved. We closely monitor our outcomes for clinical quality, patient experience and safety, and they remain consistently positive even when staffing has been challenging," Conemaugh Memorial said in a statement to The Tribune-Democrat.

Read more here.


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