Wisconsin hospital CEOs meet for discussion on capacity, stress on health care system

SSM Health

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin hospital CEOs met for a virtual, roundtable discussion Tuesday regarding the availability of beds and stress on the health care system.

Damond Boatwright, regional president of SSM Health Wisconsin, said the hospitals are planning ahead to bring back retired doctors and nurses. Boatwright also said SSM Health will enhance the number of health care workers who may be asked to travel and help out at a different facility in the state, along with cross-training staff so they develop confidence working in multiple departments.

SSM is caring for 60 COVID-19 patients across its seven hospitals and 85 clinics, an increase from last week’s 40 patients.

“We are developing a plan that will utilize all of our beds no matter where they’re located in the state itself,” Boatwright said. “So we can sort of save – if you will – many of the ICU beds as best we can for COVID patients and critical care patients and fill up less critical patients in whatever setting we have available to them.”

As Wisconsin’s positivity rate sits between 9 and 12%, Boatwright said the positivity rate among SSM staff is under 2%.

With the pandemic now in its seventh month, Boatwright’s main concern at the moment is workforce fatigue.