Corona patients make up about 10% -15% of all beds in hospital emergency rooms and up to about 40% of beds in inpatient wards in Israeli hospitals. This is according to data from the “barometer” team in the Ministry of Health, which monitors the condition of the hospitals, Ido Efrati reports this morning in Haaretz.
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The staff warns that the burden on the hospitals is increasing and there is a decrease in the quality of care in the other departments. In many hospitals, operating rooms were closed, the number of beds in intensive care was reduced and outpatient services were canceled. According to the report, the difficulty is felt mainly in small and medium-sized hospitals and those located in the main centers of illness: Hadassah Ein Kerem and Shaare Zedek in Jerusalem, Haemek in Afula and the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. While the average length of hospital stay in Israel is about four days, Corona patients are hospitalized for another 15-12 days above average.
The report further states that there is an unequal distribution of Corona patients among the hospitals and that the inequality is not only reflected in the patient loads but also in the allocation of beds to Corona patients determined by the Ministry of Health. “While the large hospitals are required for a relatively small part of their size, which causes severe damage to the overall capabilities of the small and medium-sized hospitals and incorrect utilization of the capabilities of the larger centers.”
The distribution should be done so that in the hospitals where the occupancy in the corona wards reaches 85%, surplus patients should be transferred to other hospitals in the nearby areas until the occupancy also reaches 85% and only then instruct to open additional wards. In practice, the Ministry of Health instructs hospitals to open another corona ward whenever existing wards exceed the 80% occupancy threshold, regardless of the situation at other hospitals. Any opening of an additional ward necessitates the diversion of staff, the disruption of additional activities and the reduction of availability to other patients in the hospital.
The barometer team warns: “A rapid series of initial and secondary patient regulation systems is required, which is not yet functioning optimally, and especially the regulation of difficult patients. This issue must be managed centrally by a unified hospital. Consider the help of bodies with proven experience and ability in managing unified infantry in emergencies such as the IDF.
Last night (Monday), Dr. Guy Hoshen, director of the corona department at Ichilov, told Mako that in recent days, occupancy here has risen. “Intensive work is being done with the Home Front Command and the Ministry of Health’s staff. We are really fighting for the release of patients to make room for new patients who come. The immediate solution to the load is to transfer patients who can be moved to other medical settings and isolation hotels.” Dr. Choshen also said that “many of the patients are aged 70-60 or even older. “A minority are young, but we see a lot of difficult and complex patients.”
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