U of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics boosts number of remote workers amid COVID-19 surge

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City is increasing the number of nonclinical front-line staff working from home to reduce the number of on-site hospital staff and to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection and boost environmental safety for employees working in patient care settings, the health system said Nov. 10.

Spokesperson Molly Rossiter told Becker's that employees received an email about these changes Nov. 9, and efforts surrounding these changes began this week. Up until now, nonclinical front-line staff had the option of choosing to work on-site, although many have been remote.

"As a hospital that serves patients from all 99 counties in Iowa, we play a critical role in responding to the pandemic," Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of UI Hospitals & Clinics and associate vice president for UI Health Care, said in a news release. "Hospitals across Iowa are stretched thin and need our support in caring for patients with complex care needs, and we are committed to being there for them. The good news is we're built for this — we're adaptable enough that we can adjust our operations to meet the needs of Iowans, and we're fortunate to have highly skilled staff that have shown extraordinary dedication and resilience throughout the pandemic."

In addition to expanding remote work for nonclinical front-line staff, UI Health Care said it is also implementing additional visitor limitations, as well as adding intensive care unit beds to accommodate statewide transfers, adding services for local COVID-19 testing, and adding more staffing resources as the number of cases rises in many areas of the country, including Iowa.

UI Hospitals & Clinics has about 15,000 employees.


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