40% of Wisconsin hospitals report critical staffing shortages

Staffing has become a problem at nearly half of Wisconsin hospitals, forcing facilities to use surge plans and take other measures to ensure patients are cared for, according to the state's hospital association.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association told Becker's 53 hospitals, or 40 percent of hospitals in the state, reported critical staffing shortages as of Nov. 20. Fifty-eight hospitals, or 43 percent, expect a critical staffing shortage within the week.

Hospitals are using emergency preparedness surge plans completed before the pandemic and refined during the pandemic to handle the surge of COVID-19 cases, the association said. 

"These plans include mitigation strategies such as asking staff to work more hours with incentive pay and bonuses, cross-training and asking staff to work in areas hardest hit by COVID and bringing in temporary agency staff," the association said. "Multistate systems are bringing in staff from other states to help their hospitals in Wisconsin, just as Wisconsin hospitals helped out during earlier surges. This is becoming more challenging as the surge spreads throughout the Midwest."

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases Nov. 23. According to the association's COVID-19 dashboard,185 intensive care unit beds were available Nov. 22, out of 1,466 total ICU beds.  


More articles on workforce:
Envision Healthcare deploys clinicians to Texas communities facing COVID-19 surge
Spectrum Health sees 700 November COVID-19 cases among staffers in west Michigan
Health systems launch efforts to assure healthcare workers about COVID-19 vaccination

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