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Low census and COVID-19?

Posted

Specializes in MedSurg, Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

Is anyone else experiencing low census at this time? My California hospital is a 400+ bed adult medical center and a 250+ bed children’s hospital. At this time, we are being told we are not admitting any respiratory patients as well as non urgent OR cases (including asthma and PNM). Due to this our unit census is below 50% on almost all units and multiple staff members are being budgeted and/or sent home for low census and told we have to use our PDL to cover our shifts.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

How exactly is your hospital getting away with not admitting respiratory patients? Couldn't that potentially be an EMTALA violation if these folks are coming in through the ER?

We have also cancelled elective surgeries, and the outpatient surgical centers closed as of 3pm today. For now, we are being given alternative tasks: we are emptying 4 ORs of all supplies in case there would need to be a COVID patient coming to surgery. Other staff are tackling cleaning and reorganizing the clean supply room- we're talking 10s of 1000s of items, plus all the bins and shelving to clean. As for the inpatient units, our census has not dropped quite that much yet- we're still somewhere around 70-75%. I'm sure they will try to find things for staff to do before sending them all home.

Sadala, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 7 years experience.

You're not admitting them? Where are they going. How are you even able...

TeeRN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in MedSurg, Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

I know right?! I’ll have to ask that! When our manager told us that this morning we were all in shock! Thanks for the ideas, I’ll be sure to bring them up to our administrators! I appreciate it!

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

We have low census but we are still admitting people. Elective procedures have been cancelled but we are still doing cath/EP procedures for people who truly need them.

13 hours ago, TeeRN said:

At this time, we are being told we are not admitting any respiratory patients as well as non urgent OR cases (including asthma and PNM).

12 hours ago, Rose_Queen said:

How exactly is your hospital getting away with not admitting respiratory patients? Couldn't that potentially be an EMTALA violation if these folks are coming in through the ER?

I don't think the OP's facility has explained the details of their statement that they aren't admitting any respiratory patients; it does not mean that unstable patients can be just turned away, so-to-speak. Facilities are allowed to screen patients elsewhere at this time. If "respiratory patients" are not being admitted at a particular facility that would be possible if the patients did not strictly require admission and/or if their admission were being coordinated elsewhere under a facility's disaster response plan.

A declaration of national emergency has been made and an 1135 Waiver has been issued.

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/section1135/Pages/covid19-13March20.aspx

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

We are doing the opposite, our census is low but that is because we are cancelling elective surgeries to save room for any resp cases that need beds.

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

Our census is low as well. The OR has come to a halt and only doing surgery on emergency cases to ensure we are not wasting supplies on electives that can wait. Having said that, we are working just as hard and tired by emptying out all shelves, going through inventory, dated items, wiping everything down, opening up some OR's to cohort COVID patients, and use anesthesia machines to vent them if needed. Some of us have jumped into Cath lab to circulate and even scrub cases, and help all over the hospital wherever needed. We are wiping stuff down, traffic control, helping hands wherever, and learning new skills. That is crazy that they are low censusing you when other hospitals across the nation are paying crisis response pay and can't get travelers in fast enough.

Lana717, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Med-Surg. Has 11 years experience.

I work at a usually very busy med-surg unit in Massachusetts, and lately our census has been low as well. I'm sure because of cancelled elective procedures, and and possibly because people are avoiding coming to the ED

Loco-Bonita, BSN, RN

Specializes in CVIMCU/CVICU. Has 4 years experience.

Our census is also low, currently. I think this is primarily from canceling non-emergent/critical procedures, since we are a CIMCU/CVICU floor. We are just waiting for it all to “hit” and get busy.

marienm, RN, CCRN

Specializes in Burn, ICU. Has 8 years experience.

Us too: elective surgeries cancelled, huge push for telemedicine wherever possible so we're taking fewer transfers, lots of beds open and waiting... Staff who get called off can use accrued time or decline to be called off (someone else will be happy to take their spot, especially since requests for using accrued time are being declined right now and some of it expires annually).

Reelynicenurse

Specializes in Paeds. Has 18 years experience.

I'm a paeds nurse in a 3 ward/ED paeds hospital in a large general adults hospital. We have 55 beds but have had no more than 10-12 kids on our wards since schools closed. On Monday last they told us they we will be closing is and giving our wards over to adult services :(