Methodist in the Media

Area Hospitals Concerned About Staffing as COVID-19 Hospitalizations Increase

Published: Nov. 3, 2020

Hospital leaders from Methodist Health System, CHI Health and Nebraska Medicine face the same problems right now.

Officials say they are battling hospital capacity and staffing troubles, so they're tackling COVID-19 in a similar approach.

"We have the beds, we have equipment, medicine, masks, etc., but our staff is approaching their limits," said CHI Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cary Ward. "We have 14 hospitals across the state and they're all very busy."

All three systems say their facilities are scaling back on elective surgeries.

"We can be nimble. We can actually decrease capacity in some ways and we can also increase capacity by doing things like opening up our PACUs (post-anesthesia care units), the gastrointestinal labs," said Dr. William Lydiatt, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women's Hospital.

He added: “The health systems of Omaha and Lincoln are committed to caring for all Nebraskans and Iowans, whether it’s COVID or not. We can manage a significant surge in COVID-19 patients. However, we cannot produce unlimited hospital capacity. (Therefore) we need your help.”


More coverage of health leaders' COVID-19 update on Nov. 2

KETV: Metro area hospitals concerned about staffing as COVID-19 hospitalizations increase

Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska had second straight record week for coronavirus deaths

KMTV: Omaha area hospitals cutting back on elective surgeries to maintain capacity

WOWT: Nebraska hospitals running out of space as COVID-19 cases surge

Watch the Omaha metro chief medical officer media event below: