Rural hospitals make contingency plans to limit vulnerabilities

Photo courtesy of Providence Health & Services Alaska

Executives from a sampling of rural hospitals in the Catholic health ministry told Catholic Health World that while they were concerned about vulnerabilities around supplies and technology, they have been able to use the time between when the coronavirus created urban hotspots and when it began moving into rural communities to prepare. “They've been adjusting operations, cross training staff, coordinating with health care facilities and agencies to get supplies and identify potential community sites for extra treatment space. Hospitals that are part of big systems are tapping into the expertise of infectious disease doctors and other specialists within their parent systems to ready for worst-case scenarios.”

In Alaska, few patients have been treated with COVID-19 but Robert Rang, an administrator of Providence Seward Medical & Care Center, said that while state data indicates the pandemic waning, his hospitals along with the 16 others in the state are not letting their guard down.

“If there happened to be a surge of COVID-19 patients in one community, resources could be allocated from across the state, Rang said.”

Read more on how Providence Alaska and other rural hospitals are preparing.

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