Any Massachusetts hospital or hospital system dealing with restricted capability to take care of sufferers can be required to cut back non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures starting Monday underneath an emergency order introduced Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Baker.
The objective of the order is to guard sufferers and the healthcare workforce — and guarantee capability for quick healthcare wants — in response to a variety of challenges placing stress on the state’s hospitals.
The steerage, developed by the administration and the Massachusetts Well being & Hospital Affiliation, was primarily based on a number of elements together with what officers described as crucial employees shortages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This staffing scarcity has contributed to the lack of roughly 500 medical/surgical and ICU hospital beds throughout the state. Different elements placing stress on hospitals embody the annual will increase in hospitalization generally seen through the interval post-Thanksgiving by way of January.
“The present pressure on hospital capability is because of longer than common hospital stays and important workforce shortages, separate and aside from the challenges introduced on by COVID,” Well being and Human Providers Secretary Marylou Sudders mentioned in a press launch.
The Division of Public Well being defines non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures as procedures that aren’t medical emergencies.
Steve Walsh, CEO of the Massachusetts Well being & Hospital Affiliation, mentioned a part of the issue is that hospitals are seeing an inflow of sufferers who postponed care due to the pandemic.
That has led to hospitals dealing with unprecedented capability pressures, based on Kevin Tabb, MD, CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Well being.
“Though COVID-related hospitalizations are removed from what they have been at their peak, we are actually caring for an unusually excessive variety of sufferers with different well being issues,” Tabb mentioned.
The variety of new every day instances of COVID-19 elevated by greater than 2,600 on Tuesday whereas the variety of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 24.
There have been practically 740 folks reported hospitalized Tuesday due to confirmed instances of COVID-19, with about 150 in intensive care models.