Hospital uses at-home COVID-19 care program to expand bed capacity

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ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to surge, one local hospital is taking extra measures to make sure enough ICU beds are available.

Dr. Jason McKinney is the Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital. He said staff is moving some ICU patients home to receive in-home care.

Dr. McKinney said this 24-hour care program is an extension of one that has been in place since 2015. Now, it is simply geared toward helping COVID-19 patients.

He said those who are on little or no oxygen are the ones who will be sent home. This decision is not only going to benefit the hospital but also patients.

“It’s not been an unusual thing across this region and across the country when patients need an ICU bed for Covid or other reasons that they’re having to wait a long period of time for that bed, or transferred hours away from their home to receive the care they need,” Dr. McKinney said.

Dr. McKinney said while he is moving some patients home to free up space, the hospital is not at maximum capacity and is still under the capacity reached this summer. This program is simply out of precaution and preparing for any new surge.

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