5 hospitals, health systems closing beds due to staffing challenges

In recent weeks, several hospitals and health systems were forced to close beds over staffing challenges. 

Below is a breakdown of five of them:

1. In an internal memo sent to staff Sept. 27, Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health said it will close 121 beds at two hospital campuses because of a shortage of clinical staff and other support positions. Summa Health said it will adjust inpatient hospital capacity to account for the shortage, maintain services and avoid long-term service closures. 

2. Providence-based Rhode Island Hospital was forced to close part of its emergency department Sept. 23 because of a nursing shortage. The portion of the ED that closed is called the C-pod, which has beds allocated for different uses, including inpatient holding, moderately acute patients and COVID-19 isolation.

3. Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., said it has closed hospital beds in some units due to a staffing crunch, according to WXXI news. There is also a two-week pause on elective procedure scheduling that started Sept. 27 at Strong Memorial to ensure staff are available to care for more critical and emergency procedures.

4. Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health said Sept. 15 that it closed about 180 beds because of staffing challenges. The health system said it is facing a shortage of nurses, nurse assistants and phlebotomists, among other positions, and is working aggressively to recruit new team members. The closure affects about 5 percent of its 3,375 beds and is expected to be temporary.

5. Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System said Sept. 13 that it closed 120 beds in its system because of staffing challenges. The health system said it is facing a shortage of hospital employees, which has been worsened by the pandemic. Most of the eliminated beds are in general medicine, and some are in the intensive care unit, Dr. Munkarah added. Henry Ford said bed capacity is being reduced to ensure that the health system can maintain a full spectrum of services at its five hospitals.

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