We are facing crisis, seeing record high inpatient census with critical staffing shortages. Help us by being an advocate.
WE ARE FACING CRISIS. What to know…
We hit a new, unfortunate milestone today. As of 6am today, Sept. 9, FMH had 23 COVID positive inpatients and an unusually high patient census of 88, 26% of FMH’s inpatients today are COVID positive. Yesterday we had 21 COVID positive inpatients and the day prior we had 19. Our previous highs throughout the pandemic were 15, a number that had been reached three times.
McGown, Kiewit & Chandler meeting rooms are being reconfigured for patient care. As an emergency response to a massive COVID surge and critical staffing shortages, both of which have stretched FMH’s capacity to provide care, three meeting rooms at FMH are being reconfigured to a patient care ward. This space will be utilized in the event that run out of space to provide care. The open concept of the ward allows fewer staff members to care for a higher number of patients. It provides flexibility and increases our ability to care for more patients, although staffing in general remains a very critical concern for us. Patients that that would be most likely to be in this ward would be those who require less-intensive care.
The 2S Dayroom has been transitioned to an open patient care area capable of accommodating five patient beds. This space would first be utilized for adult COVID patient overflow.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 13 we are suspending all elective and routine screening scopes until further notice.
DHSS announced 846 new COVID cases in Alaska since yesterday.
STAFFING UPDATES: What to know…
We are still experiencing very critical staffing shortages. We are actively seeking out retired nurses and health care workers who would be willing to work right now. If you know someone who is interested, please have them email sharan.jenkins@Foundationhealth.org
EMPLOYEE VACCINATIONS: What to know…
78% of FHP employees are vaccinated. (56% of Alaskans 12 and older are vaccinated. 49% of Interior residents 12 and older vaccinated. The FNSB has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state, Juneau has the highest.)
FHP is providing free, private consults with an FHP medical professional to employees who have questions, concerns or worries about the vaccine. The team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists. If you would like to meet with one of them, send an email to EmployeeFeedback@FoundationHealth.org. If you would prefer to ask your question anonymously and have the answer posted on The Loop, click here to access the ‘Talk to a Doc’ submittal form.
HELP IS NEEDED: What to know…
Be an advocate for FHP with your family and friends. Give an overview of our challenges and explain staff are working double time to keep services open. Due to staffing shortages, high COVID numbers, high volumes and acuity of care needed, there are long wait times and unavoidable delays.
Help those outside of health care understand that everyone is impacted by COVID, even when they don’t think they are. COVID numbers are high which requires additional staffing and resources. This creates delays for other patients to receive care. Some services may have to be eliminated. Some departments may have to close temporarily – this means that those in our community may need to go without necessary care. We are losing employees to less stressful industries – this contributes to delayed care and extended wait times.
Patients, visitors, and family members are understandably frustrated. Unfortunately, this frustration is being taken out on FHP employees who are working in a stressful environment and are experiencing their own fears, frustrations, delays and life challenges both at work and at home. This is contributing to burnout and resignations.
We’re experiencing challenges we’ve never seen before and considering operational changes that have never had to be considered before.
Please mask up in public. Get tested if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID or have COVID symptoms. Get vaccinated against COVID, and if you can’t, be sure to practice COVID conscious behaviors.