5 hospitals utilizing mobile units, surge tents to manage influx of flu patients

As this year's particularly severe flu season rages on, filling emergency departments and straining hospital resources, hospitals nationwide are implementing various strategies to manage the sharp increase in patient volume.

One of these strategies is to increase capacity by providing additional beds.

Here are five hospitals that deployed a mobile unit or surge tent to manage patient flow during peak flu season, as reported by Becker's Hospital Review.

1. Palmetto Health (Columbia, S.C.) deployed a temporary mobile unit Feb. 1 to help with the influx of flu-related cases. Providers will not perform medical treatment in the unit, it will only be used for patients awaiting discharge — effectively freeing up beds sooner.

2. Grady Memorial Hospital (Atlanta) set up a mobile emergency department to manage the overflow of patients as the severe flu outbreak worsens in Georgia. The mobile ED is located in the hospital's parking lot. It is equipped with a two-bed operating room and 14 additional beds.

3. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest (Allentown, Pa.) and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg (Bethlehem, Pa.) added temporary surge tents to manage increased patient volumes that arose from both an influx of flu cases to more emergency injuries. The last time Lehigh Valley Health Network, the two hospitals' parent company, deployed surge tents was in 2013.

4. Sharp Grossmont Hospital (La Mesa, Calif.) opened a surge tent outside of its emergency room entrance to triage patients with flu symptoms. The goal of the temporary triage unit is to help manage an influx of walk-in flu patients.

5. Loma Linda (Calif.) University Medical Center set up an overflow tent in its parking lot Jan. 3. The tent, which is expected to stay through March, is equipped with the necessary items to treat flu patients and other medical conditions.

More articles on patient flow:
CaroMont hospital sees 'record' patient volume, may reschedule surgeries
After weeklong disruption, Aspen Valley Hospital lifts suspension of elective surgeries
'Hazmat situation' prompts evacuation of Baylor Scott & White ER hospital

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