Long-term care staffing shortages contributes to hospital capacity issues

Worsening staff shortages at long-term facilities are contributing to Wisconsin's current hospital capacity issue, according to health care experts.

Like many sectors, the pandemic has exacerbated the workforce shortage in long-term care facilities. The shortage leads to some sites implementing an admission hold, meaning they cannot safely accept and care for patients ready to leave hospitals.

"It is very difficult. You know, we certainly want to work with our acute care partners. We want to be able to say yes, but we have to do it in a very safe and responsible manner," said David Mills, CEO for North Shore Healthcare.

North Shore healthcare operates dozens of facilities including skilled nursing homes and assisted living sites in Wisconsin. Last week, Mills said about a third of their 52 centers have some level of an admission hold tied to a staffing issue.

"I've seen some people come back, but the reality is because of the staffing challenges that we've had, there are a lot of people that are leaving and they're tired. They're oftentimes single mothers or single fathers. There's certainly work-life balance issues. It's a very stressful time," Mills said.

On top of that, North Shore Healthcare has seen a spike in sick calls over the last month as COVID spreads across the community.

Continue reading at WTMJ-TV.


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