How is your “volume” today compared to last year at the same time? Is it really that different?

Author: Betsie Sassen

Interestingly enough, most of our clients’ volumes are relatively flat today compared to the same time last year. It is the “nature” of that volume that has changed. It’s volume requiring frequent donning and doffing of PPE, extra staff to screen for COVID-19, alterations in caregiver to patient ratios due to increased acuity and maintaining separate care areas for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, what we are hearing about other facilities is that while overall hospital volume is remaining flat, FTEs are not remaining flat, and in some cases have greatly increased, at unsustainable rates outpacing volume, in areas such as the Emergency Department, Progressive Care Unit, and in some cases the Intensive Care Unit. While COVID-19 does pose some legitimate extra “care” steps and challenges, what is your organization’s tolerance for these variances? What is acceptable? And if these areas must go over, are there other areas that run more efficiently to get the net impact to zero?

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