Scripps delays nonurgent procedures amid staffing shortages

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Scripps Health is temporarily postponing some medical procedures because of significant staffing shortages and a jump in COVID-19 cases, the San Diego, Calif.-based system said Aug. 20, according to CBS News 8.

Medical staff is deciding which procedures to delay on a case-by-case basis based on clinical factors and emergency status, with time-sensitive care still being delivered, Scripps leaders said. 

The health system said it is also considering temporarily consolidating some ambulatory care sites due to workforce shortages. 

At present, Scripps said it is looking to fill 1,309 open positions. In August 2019, the system had just 832 openings. About 430 of the openings are for nursing positions, up from 220 open positions in 2019, according to the report.

At the same time, the health system is seeing its COVID-19 patient volume grow. Scripps has 173 patients admitted at its five hospitals, up from 13 patients on June 13.

"The COVID pandemic has taken a serious toll on healthcare workers across the nation, and many have decided to leave the field entirely for reasons such as fatigue and burnout," said Scripps' President and CEO Chris Van Gorder, according to CBS News 8. "We're doing all we can to fill open positions and shifts, but options are currently limited across the board in healthcare, so we're doing what's necessary to ensure we have staff available for our most urgent cases."

To view the full article, click here.

Editor's note: This article was updated Aug. 23 at 12:40 p.m. CT.

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