Hospital systems in Texas are so overwhelmed with patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 that many operators have opted to close offsite emergency rooms in order to more fully staff EDs at their main sites—possibly leaving communities in the lurch when they need walk-in care not related to the virus. According to a report from the Associated Press, Memorial Hermann Health System, St. Luke’s Health, Texas Health Hospital, and Hunt Regional Healthcare all temporarily closed at least one off-site ED. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have increased 200% in Texas in the past month. As of August 24, 93% of ICU beds in the state were occupied by COVID-19 patients. Urgent care operators in the Lone Star State should survey their communities and surrounding areas to ascertain whether there is a shortfall. Ensure that local primary care and specialty practices, as well as hospital administrators, are up to date on your capabilities and hours of operation during the crisis.
Hospitals Are Shutting Offsite EDs to Concentrate Staff. Can Urgent Care Pick Up the Slack?