State Provides New Guidance To Aid Hospitals Dealing With Staffing Shortages

HYANNIS – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently announced new guidance to help hospitals address staffing and inpatient capacity shortages as locations statewide deal with an influx of patients related to COVID-19.

Staffing shortages have led to a loss of about 500 medical, surgical and ICU beds across the state.

Working together with the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), the Department advised hospitals to reduce certain non-essential elective services and procedures by 50%, expanding on a November 23 order to reduce such services by 30%.

The Department additionally released a COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Order allowing hospitals to adjust ICU nursing staff ratios by redirecting them to beds underutilized by staffing constraints.

“The Commonwealth’s hospitals continue to face significant challenges due to staffing shortages,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services of Massachusetts.

“Today’s actions will help alleviate pressures by providing hospitals with staffing flexibility in order to reopen inpatient capacity in licensed and alternate space not currently being utilized,” she said.

Through the guidance hospitals will be able to use licensed and unlicensed places previously limited to COVID-19 and flu vaccination as well as monoclonal antibody therapy for non-invasive outpatient care.

The guidance also extends an action allowing the use of alternate licensed inpatient spaces to care for medical, surgical, and ICU patients until March 31, 2022.

To read the full guidance, click here.


By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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