Illinois hospital apologizes for abrupt closure announcement

Hours before St. Margaret's Health-Peru (Ill.) is scheduled to temporarily close, the hospital issued an apology to employees and the community for the way the news was delivered.

The hospital is scheduled to temporarily close at 7 a.m. Jan. 28 after its contract with the provider of emergency room physician coverage ends. This will include acute hospital services such as the emergency room, intensive care unit, med-surg/peds, all surgeries, emergency, lab, X-ray and other outpatient hospital services. 

On the afternoon of Jan. 26, St. Margaret's Health-Peru posted a message on Facebook apologizing to employees and the community for "not delivering our announcement in the best way possible."

"Please know the true essence of St. Margaret's Health has always been, and still is, our employees and the citizens of the communities we serve. They are the most important assets we have, and without them, we cannot achieve our mission," the hospital wrote. "As such, we would like to apologize to our employees and the community for not delivering our announcement in the best way possible. It was never our intent to blindside any of our employees or the community with such a sensitive and life-impacting announcement. As we move forward, we are working to improve our communication (to both our internal employees and the community alike)."

St. Margaret's Health-Peru notified staff of the closure about 5 p.m. Jan. 20, around the time news agencies received confirmation of the news, according to a report from Shaw Local News Network.

The hospital cited various contributing factors involved in the move. These include financial and economic circumstances affecting the entire healthcare industry, as well as a recent cyberattack, which the hospital said prevented it from being able to bill or get paid in a timely way. St. Margaret's Health-Peru also cited severe staff shortages.

Amid these hardships, St. Margaret's Health-Peru said it pursued the opportunity for a rural emergency hospital designation, which is given to rural hospitals by CMS, in an effort to keep services going. But it said more factors came into play when the current provider of emergency room physician coverage at St. Margaret's Health-Peru terminated their contract, effective 7 a.m. Jan. 28.

"At present, we are not able to find, nor financially support, a new ER provider," the hospital said. "Furthermore, despite recruitment efforts, we have been unable to attract enough staff to continue to operate." 

Moving forward, the hospital pledged to continue to provide updates and clarifications as needed.  

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars