Cedar County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) has been asked to provide clarification of information that is circulating regarding the Hospital not admitting patients at the present time. CCMH wishes to respond that all services are currently open per regularly established hours; including the emergency room, which is open 24/7, and the inpatient unit. CCMH is limiting the number of patients on the inpatient unit on a temporary basis in accordance with its Nursing Department staffing policy, which for patient safety reasons, limits the inpatient census to a maximum of six patients when two RNs (as opposed to three licensed nurses) are on site. This policy has been in place for a number of years. It isn’t new and has been exercised in the past. It was most recently reviewed and revised with the approval of all five Board members at their July 19, 2021, Board meeting.
Again, this inpatient limitation is only temporary; and at the time this release was written, the CCMH inpatient census was five, allowing capacity for an additional admission. CCMH is experiencing the same staffing shortage that the entire national health care system is experiencing and is following its internal policies to assure appropriate safety measures for patients and staff. While the Hospital explores new efforts to recruit staff, the nationwide nursing shortage is particularly hard on rural hospitals. According to a recent report from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), rural regions make up sixty percent of areas facing shortages of health care professionals.