PARKER, Colo. — Children's Hospital Colorado is consolidating some of its services effective Thursday in an effort to continue providing care "effectively and efficiently" amid staffing shortages.
As of Sept. 23, the hospital is making the following adjustments:
- Temporary suspension of After-Hours Virtual Urgent Care services
- The temporary closure of the Urgent Care services at Children’s Colorado’s Wheat Ridge and Uptown locations will be extended
- Temporary suspension of Children’s Colorado’s services at Parker Adventist Hospital, resulting in a temporary closure of this location. The Parker Adventist emergency department remains open 24/7.
>The video above is about why there are staffing shortages in industries across the country.
For pediatric emergency services in the south metro region, the South Campus location in Highlands Ranch remains open.
The Orthopedic Care, Centennial location is also closed and its services have been consolidated with the South Campus location.
In a statement, the hospital system said hospitals across the country are facing mounting challenges, which include an early start to respiratory season and the transmissibility of the delta variant.
That statement also said workers are choosing to leave the industry in part due to "heightened demands placed on the healthcare workforce."
The closures will remain in place until further notice.
"Can you imagine being a parent and having your child in the middle of an emergency going to the hospital and having it either closed because of lack of staffing or having their ICU beds full," said 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli.
Throughout the pandemic, the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) says space, supplies, and staff have remained the primary focus. But staffing is now the main concern.
"Our staff is incredibly tired and burned out," said CHA, Senior Communications Director, Cara Welch. "Some people have just chosen to leave health care after this long grueling 18 to 19 months they’ve put in. Some are leaving to go earn large bonuses to go work for staffing agencies and get flexed to places that are in an even bigger COVID surge than we are here in Colorado. And then we also just know that some of our hospitals, as we get ready to implement a vaccine mandate, have also heard from staff that they don’t want to be vaccinated and will plan to leave as a result of that.”
Kohli says she is also feeling the burnout that's leading to many staffing shortages.
“It’s been an up and down roller coaster and I’m tired," Kohli said. "I’m tired and I’m angry. I’m angry because we have a solution for the unvaccinated adults. And we’re choosing not to exercise it. Me, as a medical provider, my biggest fear is having to triage one person ahead of another because only one ventilator is available."
These staffing shortages are leading to unprecedented changes many may not be prepared for.
“Care will look a little bit different right now," Welch said. "So just understand that it’s possible if you have an emergent condition and have to go to the emergency room, you may have a little bit of a wait."
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