Conemaugh Health and UPMC Discuss Capacity Concerns

(WTAJ) – Conemaugh Health System and UPMC are affected by triple demic cases of influenza, RSV and Covid. This increase will allow hospitals to perform at a higher capacity than usual.

The hospital noted that flu and RSV weren’t as high as they were last year as people continued to take safety precautions.

UPMC’s Chief Quality Officer, Dr. David Burwell, said: “We are noticing a resurgence of these endemic viruses. So the combination of these three at this level is better than it has been in the last two years.”

Both hospitals said these cases varied among children, young adults, and the elderly. But overcrowding is something that affects all hospitals. Conemaugh Health System Chief Nursing Officer Jelden Arcilla said he could not send a sick child to Pittsburgh because of overcrowding.

Each stakeholder ensured that these capacity issues did not cause denial of service to patients. They can safely treat as many patients as possible.

“We have been performing higher capacity within the hospital for many months,” Dr. Burwell said. “Having said that, we have the ability to treat patients who need it right now. We don’t plan to change that in the near future.”

Doctors said they were preparing for a surge due to holiday gatherings. Additionally, both said they have no immediate plans to shut down services to patients.

To stay ahead, the hospital plans to take advantage of protocols it did at the peak of the pandemic. That means maintaining safety between patients and staff.

“At this point, we can manage our surge capacity. “I think we’ve seen a peak surge, at least related to covid. That was around this time last year. But you never know what will happen with the current triple threat.”

“We do different procedures depending on the level of surge that occurs,” says Dr. Burwell. “We will execute on that plan and stay true to the plan because it has worked in the past.It has worked during the Covid surge.”

Hospitals are aware of nurse shortages and how they affect the number of patients they accept. They want their patients to be seen in a timely manner. Overall, their primary responsibility is to ensure that all patients are cared for.

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“We were pretty nervous, but we were able to move the patient through the system instead of the deadlock itself,” says Arcilla. “Where patients come in and have nowhere to go. Wait times are a bit long and delayed, but we can get everyone through in a timely and safe manner.”

In return, both are asking communities to continue using safety measures. Conemaugh Health and UPMC Discuss Capacity Concerns

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