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(AUSTIN, Texas – June 24, 2020) – On a call with Gov. Greg Abbott yesterday evening, Texas hospitals reported they have the necessary capacity to continue caring for the influx of COVID-19 patients, highlighting that surge plans also are in place and can be activated as needed to serve increased patient volume.
“Hospitals are committed to managing capacity so patients get the right care at the right time for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 medical care. This will help ensure adequate space, staffing and supplies are available for COVID-19 patients,” said Ted Shaw, THA president/CEO. “Through these actions, Texas hospitals have been and will continue to nimbly manage increasing patient volumes as they occur in certain areas of the state. Hospitals are anchors in Texas communities and always are ready to respond to the unique needs of the people they serve.”
To meet the demand, hospitals can adjust their flow of patients, including slowing or pausing non-COVID-19-related procedures and increasing bed capacity, as volumes fluctuate. In addition, Texas hospitals continue to reserve 15% of capacity for COVID-19 patients. Also, medical care continues to be routinely provided in outpatient settings without taxing the overall hospitalization capacity.
While some areas of the state experience hotspots or outbreaks, others have limited quantities or even no COVID-19 hospitalizations. Hospitals are partnering with other facilities in their region to control capacity levels and ensure the highest quality care for every Texan who seeks it. They share boots-on-the ground perspective through regular communication and long-standing partnerships. Hospital leaders are coordinating closely with state leadership and public health experts to help maintain statewide visibility on acute capacity issues and other critical concerns.
Responding to emergencies with precision is a hallmark of Texas hospitals’ work. Early in the pandemic, hospitals quickly turned off non-emergent services to preserve personal protective equipment and protect the health and safety of patients and staff. Today, hospitals are better equipped and continue to be committed to safety and high-quality care. With new screening procedures and dedicated units to separate potentially infectious patients from the general population, hospital care is safe and ready for those who need it. People who need care are encouraged to seek it.
“The general public is the linchpin of our fight to stop this ruthless disease. Through their actions, people can change the course of COVID-19 and stop the surge,” Shaw said. “Hospitals are doing everything they can, and we need everyone to act now to protect themselves.”
Texans can do their part to help slow the spread, avoid illness and support local business. Everyone should strictly adhere to wearing a mask in public, social distancing, thorough handwashing and staying home when possible. With behavioral changes by the general public to more universally follow these precautions, current hospitalization trends can be reduced.
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members’ abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents 452 of the state’s non-federal general and specialty hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 400,000 health care professionals statewide. Learn more about THA at www.tha.org or follow THA on Twitter at https://twitter.com/texashospitals.