Hospitals trying to free up beds for expected surge in talks with hotels to take some non-COVID-19 patients
2020-03-25 from thestar.com
Hospitals scrambling to free up space for the expected crush of COVID-19 patients are looking at moving patients into hotels.
“As we confront the growing challenge of COVID-19, no idea is off the table when it comes to ensuring hospital beds are there for people when they need them,” Health Minister Christine Elliott told the Star Tuesday.
Discussions with hotels in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and elsewhere are exploring using vacant rooms for patients who are stuck in hospital beds even though they no longer require hospital care, explained Elliott’s press secretary, Travis Kann. These patients do not have COVID-19 but are typically frail and elderly.
Known as “alternative-level-of-care” or ALC patients, they have been waiting to move into other settings such as long-term-care, where there are also bed shortages.
“This isn’t a simple proposition as we need to consider accessibility, equipment, food services, infection control and cleaning standards, bio-hazardous waste disposal and staffing, among many other issues that need to be resolved to ensure that patient safety is protected,” Kann said.
The hotels would be staffed by hospital personnel, including physicians and nurses, and by staff from the home and community care sectors, including nurses and personal support workers, he said.
Read more here