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IU Health Bedford Hospital President Says Rural Hospitals Are Seeing Increases In COVID-19 Patients

testing site signs in Bedford

(George Hale, WFIU/WTIU News)

As Indiana’s daily new cases exceed 1,000 for the 11th day in a row, hospitals in rural areas work to adjust to the demand.

IU Health in Bedford is one of the hospitals that has seen an increase in patients since the start of the month. 

A few weeks ago, IU Health Bedford Hospital had just a couple of COVID-19 inpatients, but since the beginning of October that number has increased, sitting between seven and nine, according to the hospital’s president, Brad Dykes.

He says under normal circumstances, IU Health Bedford has a capacity limit of 25 inpatients. But a federal waiver allows critical access hospitals, such as Bedford, to exceed that number during the pandemic.

Dykes says recently his hospital has regularly exceeded that.  

He says staffing availability to treat the increase in patients is his biggest concern. 

 “The longer we go and continue to experience this volume, obviously it’s going to create more workload demand for our staff and a variety of resources,” he says.

Dykes says on average Bedford sees higher acuity level COVID-19 patients than other critical access hospitals in southern Indiana and Bedford is well equipped to handle the increase in patients. 

He adds if the number of COVID patients reaches levels difficult for his hospital to manage, elective procedures can be delayed – as they were early in the pandemic, though that isn’t necessary right now.

IU Health numbers 10-14-2020
Courtesy of IU Health

IU Health Data August 24

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