Nearly half of San Jose hospital beds are COVID-19 related patients, Kaiser EVP says

Within California, Kaiser Permanente's San Jose Medical Center has particularly felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Stephen Parodi, MD, executive vice president of Kaiser Permanente, reported in a recent interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Our San Jose facility in California actually has almost half of the hospital filled with either COVID confirmed or persons under investigation," Dr. Parodi said. 

"So, we've literally had to revamp the hospital to make sure that we've got enough capacity from a personnel standpoint. Because to provide the care to these patients requires resource-intensive personnel," he said.

Dr. Parodi, an infectious disease expert and incident commander for Kaiser Permanente's COVID-19 response nationally, also discussed other COVID-19 topics with JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner, MD, including how the hospital has worked to preserve personal protective equipment.

"We instituted PPE preservation so that when you enter the intensive care unit, you can don the PPE and take care of multiple patients without having to change in between patients," said Dr. Parodi. "Obviously washing your hands in between patients and switching gloves, but otherwise keeping your PPE intact."

Adding context to Dr. Parodi's interview, a Kaiser spokesperson noted that the number of patients in its hospitals suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 changes daily and that it does not provide daily figures. But Kaiser said the number of patients at San Jose Medical Center is lower than the JAMA report from last week. 

"Given that it is located in a COVID-19 hot spot, and that we count so many South Bay residents as our members, it should not be surprising that we would care for a significant number of our patients in our San Jose hospital," the spokesperson added. "We are grateful to our physicians, nurses, and staff for the excellent care they are providing to all our patients, including those with COVID-19."

California has emerged as one of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus, with 2,628 confirmed cases as of 7:25 a.m. CDT March 25. As of March 24, Santa Clara County, which includes the city of San Jose, had 16 COVID-19 deaths, the most among California counties, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare provider and nonprofit health plan, serves more than 12 million members in eight states and Washington, D.C. Its local markets are in northern California, Hawaii, southern California, Georgia, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, Washington state and Oregon.

Listen to Dr. Parodi's full interview here


More articles on patient flow:

US cities race to reopen shuttered hospitals as COVID-19 spreads
Will COVID-19 overwhelm hospitals near you? 16 things to know
Suburban Chicago hospital will reopen to house coronavirus patients

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