5 hospitals, health systems cutting capacity amid staffing shortages

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Hospitals and health systems across the U.S. are struggling with staffing challenges as workers call in sick and COVID-19 infections surge, and several facilities have had to temporarily limit capacity.

Five hospitals and health systems that have announced capacity changes because of a lack of staff:

1. Mass General Brigham, the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts, kept 83 beds empty Jan. 7 because of staffing shortages, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ron Walls, MD, COO of the Boston-based health system, told the newspaper 2,000 of Mass General Brigham's 82,000 employees tested positive for COVID-19 during the 10-day period ending Jan. 4.

2. University Hospitals, based in Cleveland, recently closed as many as 16 percent of its intensive care beds, and that number could fluctuate, the health system confirmed to Becker's. The health system told the Journal about 2 percent of its workforce of about 30,000 employees are home sick daily. 

3. Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas limited capacity by shutting 30 of 900 beds, according to the Journal. The health system told the newspaper more than 500 workers were out sick one recent day.

4. With hundreds of workers out sick during the latest COVID-19 surge, Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System temporarily closed 97 beds as of Jan. 3, the system said. Fifty-two beds closed at Henry Ford Hospital, 34 at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital and 11 at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, Mich. Henry Ford said these hospitals account for more than 1,550 of the health system's more than 2,000 beds.

5. Russell Vinik, MD, chief medical operations officer at Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health, told The Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 5 that the health system has had "to reduce the number of beds available to our patients at least for the near future." He also said hundreds of employees are away from work because of illness.

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