Greene County Medical Center Operational Changes
December 10, 2020
America’s hospitals and health systems have stepped up in heroic and unprecedented ways to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Locally, Greene County Medical Center has been part of the effort to test area residents and provide treatment for COVID-19 illnesses while continuing to meet our community’s ongoing needs for health care services.
The financial challenges associated with the pandemic are significant. The situation has placed an increased strain on rural hospitals like Greene County Medical Center so we have been actively conducting a review of all aspects of operations to ensure we are functioning as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Medical Center is taking the following steps to implement strategies that will improve our financial standing now and into the future.
The Medical Center will run a full surgery schedule through December 18. Elective surgeries and procedures will be temporarily suspended December 19 through January 17. This action enables preparation for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients during and after the holidays. The Medical Center knows this is a very real possibility and is preparing to be ready to care for COVID-19 patients in addition to taking care of the ongoing acute care needs for conditions such as pneumonia, diabetes complications, and congestive heart failure.
“It has been a long, hard year and our team members are tired,” stated Tracy Warner, CEO. “We believe by temporarily suspending surgery we can redeploy surgical team members to help in other areas of the hospital.” During the pandemic, the Medical Center has continued to experience staff shortages due to vacant positions and COVID-19 related illness. By mobilizing nursing staff to the acute care and long-term care departments, the Medical Center will be better equipped to care for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients in anticipation of post-holiday surges.
As the pandemic allows, the Medical Center will resume surgeries beginning January 18 for general surgery, orthopedics, podiatry and cataract procedures. Although temporarily suspending surgeries further affects financials, it is the right thing for Medical Center team members and the community as COVID-19 community spread continues.
There will also be changes in respiratory therapy as the Medical Center seeks to expand this service from five days a week to daily. In addition, the women’s health service line will be eliminated at the end of February due to limited volumes to support this specialty clinic. Women’s health services will still be available through the Greene County Family Medicine Clinic providers.
These changes are the initial steps to right size Greene County Medical Center so that health care services can be available locally in the future. Greene County Medical Center’s goal continues to be Always Here, Always Caring to meet the health care needs of the residents of Greene County for years to come.