14 hospitals temporarily or permanently shelving services because of staffing shortages

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As hospitals struggle with critical staff shortages, several have had to permanently or temporarily halt some services.

Here are 14 recent instances of hospitals halting services temporarily or permanently since Nov. 24, 2021, because of a lack of staff:

Note: This list was updated Jan. 13.

1. Trinity Health hospital closes 3 urgent care clinics on weekends, cites staff shortages
Boise, Idaho-based Saint Alphonsus Medical Group will temporarily close three urgent care clinics on weekends beginning Jan. 15 because of staffing problems caused by the COVID-19 surge. 

2. University Hospitals Lake Health closes ED amid COVID-19 surge
University Hospitals Lake Health is temporarily closing its freestanding emergency department at UH Madison (Ohio) Health Center. Operations at the ED, including lab and X-ray, will be suspended until Jan. 17, at which time the health system will reassess the move based on staffing numbers, according to a news release shared with Becker's.

3. Crozer Health hospital temporarily closes ED, other services amid staff shortages
Citing staff shortages, Chester, Pa.-based Crozer Health is temporarily suspending emergency department, pathology, lab and medical imaging services at Springfield (Pa.) Hospital starting Jan. 14. The suspension of these services will allow the hospital to temporarily move staff to other areas of the health system that need help, according to a Crozer Health news release shared with Becker's.

4. Florida hospital shuts down labor and delivery unit amid staffing shortage
Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., temporarily closed its labor and delivery unit amid a staffing shortage, the hospital confirmed to Becker's on Jan. 3. This move does not affect the neonatal intensive care unit or the postpartum unit.

5. University of Utah Hospital suspends some surgeries as 500 staff out sick
With hundreds of staff out sick amid the latest COVID-19 surge, University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City said it will postpone about 20 percent of its surgeries for at least a week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Jan. 4.

6. Henry Ford Health System closes 97 beds amid staffing challenges
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.

7. Kansas hospital to close ICU amid staffing shortage
Junction City, Kan.-based Geary Community Hospital will close its intensive care unit by Feb. 1 because of fiscal problems and a nursing shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospital will close the unit through a phased transition, according to a Jan. 3 statement by the hospital.

8. Chicago-area hospitals delay nonurgent surgeries after plea from governor
Hospitals in the Chicago area are delaying nonurgent surgeries and other procedures not risking patient safety after a plea from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, according to the Chicago Tribune

9. Main Line Health halts nonemergent surgeries amid COVID-19 surge
Radnor, Pa.-based Main Line Health, which serves parts of Philadelphia and its western suburbs, announced Jan. 2 it will pause all nonemergent surgeries for the following two weeks as it deals with a near-record COVID-19 surge, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The decision was made to ensure staffing can meet demand amid shortages related to COVID-19.

10. Advocate Aurora temporarily closes 3 urgent care facilities, cites staff shortages
Advocate Aurora Health temporarily closed three urgent care facilities Dec. 29 in the Milwaukee area because of staffing shortages, NBC affiliate TMJ4 reported. The health system recently extended the closure until Jan. 26 after originally planning to reopen Jan. 6, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

11. NIH hospital to postpone surgeries as COVID-19 sidelines staff
The U.S. National Institutes of Health is postponing elective surgeries at its hospital in Bethesda, Md., as dozens of staff must isolate or quarantine, Reuters reported Dec. 29, 2021. A spokesperson told Reuters that NIH did not have shortages at the time of publication but made the change in anticipation of potential shortages.

12. Indiana hospital to close OB department
Beginning in mid-January, maternity services will no longer be available at Pulaski Memorial Hospital in Winamac, Ind., local news station WKVI reported Dec. 22, 2021. The hospital has had difficulty recruiting staff.

13. Staffing forced closure of 154 Massachusetts mental health beds in last 10 months, report finds
Psychiatric units and hospitals in Massachusetts have taken at least 154 additional mental beds offline solely because of staffing needs within the last 10 months, according to a report released in December 2021. 

14. Mercyhealth applies to end inpatient care at Illinois hospital
Mercyhealth, which has seven hospitals in Wisconsin and Illinois, filed an application with the Illinois Health and Services Review Board to end inpatient services at Javon Bea Hospital-Rockton in 2022, citing a nursing shortage and a decrease in ED and surgery volume, Fox and ABC affiliate WTVO reported Nov. 24, 2021.

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