Hendrick Health System adjusts with 50 employees out due to coronavirus

Abilene, Texas-based Hendrick Health System is implementing critical staffing initiatives as 50 employees at two hospitals in the area are sidelined due to COVID-19 exposure or illness, according to the Abilene Reporter-News.

The initiatives include scheduling extra shifts, reducing or eliminating scheduled vacation and reallocating staff so the system can continue elective surgeries, Hendrick President and CEO Brad Holland said in a video published by the newspaper July 16 and recorded July 15. 

Mr. Holland said the system may also have to reduce capacity in outpatient ancillary services to meet needs of surgical departments as well as acute needs during the pandemic. 

Under the initiatives, employees will not lose their PTO hours, but Hendrick is asking workers to reschedule or postpone vacations and time off.  

Hendrick's new initiatives come as the system prepares for a continued surge in hospitalizations.

At Abilene Regional Medical Center, there were seven positive COVID-19 hospitalizations on July 15, and Hendrick had 38, according to Mr. Holland. He said the hospitals are also treating "people under investigation," meaning those who are treated as if they have COVID-19 until it is determined they are not infected. Abilene Regional had four people under investigation as of July 15, and Hendrick had 15. 

"Between those two combined numbers — 45, plus 19 PUIs — the two hospitals are almost treating 65 more patients this summer than they would a regular summer," said Mr. Holland.

Hendrick prepared for a surge, but the number of employees sidelined, and the increased number of patients brought a need for further actions, he said. 

As of July 15, 50 employees were out between Hendrick and Abilene Regional because they tested positive for COVID-19 or quarantined because of being close to an infected patient.  

Mr. Holland said he expects the number of increased hospitalizations between the two hospitals will peak at 65 patients over the next two weeks. 


More articles on workforce:

Southwest Florida hospitals boost staffing amid COVID-19 surge
Scripps Health staffing up ICU for COVID-19 surge
California hospital employees seek to telecommute after patients move into their workspace

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