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Southcentral Kentucky hospitals give update on bed capacity, COVID units

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 1:46 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN/GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) - While some hot spots in the country are experiencing increased hospital bed capacity and staffing shortages, that doesn't appear to be the case in Bowling Green.

According to Med Center Health, their COVID-19 unit has 48 beds, and only 12 are currently being used. Executive Director of Ancillary Services, Dennis Chaney, says the hospital has utilized beds up to the high 40s previously. He adds that they do have the ability to double capacity in the COVID-19 unit if necessary.

“Those rooms are really big, so at any point in time we can double that 48 to 96 and there’s actually some additional space that we go just a little bit higher in our tower for both critical care and medical care for COVID-19 patients,” said Chaney.

If the COVID-19 unit did at one point overflow completely, they still aren't completely out of options.

“Fortunately for us we’re part of a system where we have our sister facilities in other parts of the regions, so as it relates to patients that are non-COVID, then those patients could be transferred there and receive high quality care and that would create capacity here within our own ICU, our CCU, our negative pressure rooms,” said Chaney.

Despite nearly 100 employees testing positive for COVID-19 in May, Med Center Health says they have not experienced a lack of staff within the hospital.

"We do use some traveling nurses, and so we have been fortunate, very blessed to have some traveler nurses come in during this time, and help with us and so that's helped with us, particularly during those times when we had staff out ill," said Chaney.

T.J. Samson Regional Health says they have 12 COVID-19 beds at its hospital in Glasgow, and only one is being utilized at the moment.

“For about the past month, we’ve experienced a fairly low COVID volume. About zero to two patients is what we’ve been ranging on in our COVID unit,” said Dr. Eric Fisher, Chief Quality Office and Chief of Medical Staff at T.J. Samson.

TriStar Greenview Hospital has not confirmed how many beds are in its COVID-19 unit nor the amount of beds currently being utilized, but did send us the following statement:

“We are a 211-bed facility and have the bed capacity, staffing, supplies, and equipment we need at this time. Our hospital leaders are continually monitoring the situation closely and continue to plan by accessing the resources, support and best practices across TriStar Health and our parent company, HCA Healthcare, to ensure we remain able to meet the needs of the community. To ensure we are prepared for an influx of patients, we have staffing contingency plans in place, and those include the use of our in-house staffing agency. Additionally, we have the ability to add bed capacity, if needed.”

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