QCA Hospitals Prepared for Surge in COVID-19 Patients

As more cases of COVID-19 coronavirus are confirmed, executives at both major hospital systems in the QCA are prepared for a surge of patients, with an expected peak on April 27.

Genesis Health System President and CEO Doug Cropper says, "One of the advantages of being in the Quad Cities is that others have gone first, which gives us the opportunity to learn from others within the nation."

The plan at Genesis Health includes nine steps of capacity increases of the intensive care unit. Starting with a baseline of 20 at the Genesis Medical Center Davenport Campus, the health system has the ability to increase ICU capacity to 103 beds and a total of over 400 COVID-19 patients.

"Our surge numbers are pretty similar. If needed, our surge plan if we go to the ultimate level of need, we can get up to pretty close to 90 ICU beds by redeploying different units," Robert J. Erickson, President & CEO of UnityPoint Health-Trinity, said during Thursday's QC Coalition call.

"We don't believe that we're going to need that. In fact, based on all the models that we are looking at we think we'll peak out at about three times our average number of patients that we have in our average daily census right now. Today we have 36, multiply that by three, that's going to be around our max number," Cropper said.

With the models expecting a peak in the Quad Cities around April 27, both leaders feel confident the health systems have the necessary supplies and tools in place to protect patients and their employees.

"We have a fairly sophisticated, much like a public health departments, mechanism where if we feel there's exposure we are able to trace down every contact with a patient. Whether it's in the clinic, emergency room, or in one of our units," Erickson said.

Cropper says Genesis Health Systems was selected as a testing location, which means hospital employees will test COVID-19 patients in house and cut down on the amount of time it takes to get results. "We will be calibrating and making sure that equipment is accurate over the next ten days. And we'll be able to do over 100 tests on our own with a three hour turnaround within Genesis. So that's a huge deal for us to be able to provide better service to the community here."

Right now Genesis Health is experiencing, on average, a two day turnaround for results.

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