Overloaded hospitals turn to Genesee County for help spreading emergency room message

GENESEA COUNTY, MI – The county could help local hospitals send a message about when to use their emergency rooms to reduce pressure on capacity at McLaren Flint Hospital and Hurley Medical Center.

County health board officials said this week they may be able to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for radio advertising, advising people with minor illnesses to seek care. emergency rooms or doctor’s offices to seek treatment when their illnesses do not. constitute an emergency.

“We have had a few of our hospitals that have reported to us that they are worried because they are at or near full capacity,” said Danielle Leder, chief epidemiologist at the Department of Health. “They would like some help.”

Hurley reached 100% bed occupancy this week and a spokeswoman said the increase in cases of COVID-19 and other viruses are helping to fuel the high demand for services.

The hospital patient count as of Monday, November 15 included 43 patients with COVID-19, 14 of whom were in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

The Michigan State Patient Census for individual hospitals has not been updated since then.

In addition to Hurley, the bed occupancy rate at McLaren-Flint Hospital was 96% on Monday with 58 COVID-19 patients, 12 of whom were in intensive care.

Grand Blanc Township Ascension Genesys Hospital was at 83% of capacity with 70 COVID-19 patients, 21 of whom were in intensive care.

Genesys said in a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal that it is facing its people.

“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the patients and the communities we are privileged to serve,” the statement said. “Ascension Michigan hospitals currently have the capacity to treat all patients, including patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

“All of our hospitals, including Ascension Genesys Hospital, have an emergency plan specific to this facility, and we are able to adapt quickly to the needs of our patients and to the healthcare demands of our community. “

Brian Brown, a spokesperson for McLaren, said the hospital system’s Flint campus has seen a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in recent weeks.

“The hospital is currently operating at a high enumeration and occupancy rate. It is important to note that the hospital census is constantly fluctuating depending on the number of patients who come to our facility in need of care and the number of patients discharged throughout the day, ”said Brown.

“We are constantly monitoring the census, and any challenges it may create, and in turn adjusting our operations to continue to meet all health care needs.”

The Journal was unable to immediately reach a spokesperson for Hurley for further comment on Friday, November 19.

Kayleigh Blaney, assistant county health worker, said the idea of ​​using COVID-19 money for a campaign to reduce emergency room traffic is under consideration but may not be successful. being considered by the County Council of Commissioners before at least next month.

Hospitals in the region are not the only ones facing a wave of coronavirus patients.

Spectrum Health is in “unprecedented” territory as COVID-19 cases increase and other patients with serious medical conditions continue to come in large numbers to the hospital, officials said Tuesday (November 16th). Grand Rapids-based health care provider.

Statewide, hospitals were caring for more than 3,200 COVID-19 patients on Monday.

Read more:

Hurley Medical Center Reaches 100% Capacity As COVID-19 Count In Flint Area Rises

“What we are experiencing today is unprecedented,” says Spectrum Health as patient numbers increase

COVID hospitalizations peak in a year at Kalamazoo-based Bronson Healthcare

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