HEALTHCARE CAPACITY UPDATE

Due to increased national, state, and local influenza and respiratory activity impacting our healthcare system, the Network initiated its first situational awareness survey of the calendar year. The Healthcare Situational Awareness Survey was distributed to healthcare partners last week. Survey responses indicate that healthcare facilities in King, Kitsap, and Pierce counties are experiencing elevated capacity issues. Facilities are managing any additional patients with existing resources and have not requested external assistance. The survey did note a challenge acquiring IV fluids. The Network will continue to monitor healthcare capacity issues.

SUMMARY OF SURVEY

Data compiled from the survey should inform decision makers assessing strategies to respond to existing or potential healthcare capacity issues.

  • 76 facilities responded to the recent survey (Hospitals – 21; Long Term Care – 29; Outpatient – 25; Blood Center – 1).
  • Majority of facilities are not seeing an increased number of patients seeking care in the last 48-hours. Overall, less than 25% of patients are seeking care for ILI. However, about 50% of hospitals are seeing a slight increase of patients seeking care in last 48-hours.
  • 50% of reporting hospitals and 60% of outpatient clinics are operating at full licensure capacity.
  • Facilities reporting increased wait times note wait times range an additional 20-minutes to 3 hours above seasonal norm. Overall, most facilities are not experiencing additional wait times.
  • More than 50% of hospitals have difficulty discharging patients or with case management placement.
  • Managing Surge: Majority of hospitals continue to stretch staff responsibilities and expand staff hours. Overall, facilities continue to increase public messaging.
  • Hospitals and outpatient facilities are experiencing staffing shortages for Specialty Care Nurses and Techs. Hospitals, outpatient, and long-term care facilities are experiencing shortages of General Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants, with ill staff and staff turnovers possibly playing a role.
  • Other than national shortage of IV fluids, majority of facilities are not experiencing supply shortages.

Approx. 25% of responding Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) note they do have current restrictions for re-accepting patients/residents, if recently diagnosed with influenza. Several responding SNFs noted they will accept patients with influenza, but only after receiving antiviral treatment.