Woodlawn President and CEO responds to questions of hospital staffing during COVID-19 situation

Woodlawn Hospital President and CEO John Alley had this response to concerns regarding  staffing at Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester:


Our community and hospital are currently in a situation that most of us have never seen before with regards to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Because of this virus, we have seen approximately a 35 -40 % reduction in our patient visits within our hospital outpatient services and physician practices.  Many patients are calling and cancelling their appointments because they do not want to come out of their homes and run the risk of potentially being exposed.


Woodlawn Hospital would like to clarify some points regarding our services:


  1. The Emergency Department is seeing patients who present with care needs. Testing for the virus is being performed by the Emergency Department staff if the patient meets the criteria for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing guidelines. The Emergency Department is always staffed with two nurses and during peak hours there is a third nurse/medic. It has always been our policy to cross-train our critical care nurses to the emergency department to assist us during times of high patient census and we will continue this practice.


  1.  We have posted a “No Visitor” policy which is in place at nearly every hospital in the state. Exceptions include: those who need mental or physical assistance, laboring mothers, or children under the age of 18 (parent/guardian to accompany).


  1. We have suspended the use of PRN (as needed) staff until further notice.  This decision was made based upon two underlying issues.  First, most PRN staff work at many other hospitals and as such we have a greater risk of them bringing something into our building from these other facilities.  Secondly, with the 35-40% reduction in volumes they do not meet the “as needed“ requirements since we are trying to give as many hours as possible to our full-time and part-time employees.


  1. As many other hospitals around the state we have put in a place a reduction in hours’ policy, once again with the 35-40% reduction in volume we do not need to staff for services we are not going to render.


  1. The hospital Board of Trustees, Physicians, Administration and Leadership team are extremely proud of all of our staff who are assisting us in providing high-quality, safe patient care during these difficult and unprecedented times.




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