UW Medicine making contingency plan to combat staffing shortages

Copyright 4 News Now

SEATTLE, Wash. — The University of Washington plans to create a backup plan for staffing shortages.

UW, like many other hospitals, is experiencing a high amount of traffic due to the omicron surge. Due to Governor Jay Inslee’s decree, all Washington hospitals are not to perform any non-emergency or life-threatening surgeries.

This decree has affected many people in the Inland Northwest, with many saddened at the amount of canceled operations.

UW reached a record high of 194 COVID-19 inpatients across its hospitals Friday. UW Medicine says they must come up with a contingency plan if staff are unable to account for the number of incoming patients.

“Our capacity strategies include caring for patients in different settings, using nurse and other care extenders, using staffing agencies, and postponing non-urgent surgeries consistent with the governor’s recent proclamation,” said Lisa Brandenburg, president of UW Medicine.

Brandenburg also said emergency departments will no longer be administering COVID-19 tests, and she plans on making more solutions on how to balance staffing shortages and limit the spread of omicron.

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