September 28, 2022

Henry Ford hospitals trim beds due to staffing shortage

Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System has trimmed 120 beds from its five hospitals because there aren’t enough nurses or other workers to staff them, health system officials said Monday. 

Michigan has been grappling with a shortage of hospital employees after a grueling year and a half of pandemic service that caused some workers to quit or retire earlier than they’d planned on. 

“Unfortunately our health care system as well as other health care systems across the region, state and nation are facing unprecedented staffing challenges, only exasperated by this pandemic,” Henry Ford’s Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Adnan Munkarah said during a Monday media briefing.

“This does not mean by any means that our level of care or safety of care is impacted,” Munkarah added.”Our patients continue to receive the highest and safest level of appropriate care from our care teams.” 

Monday’s announcement followed a Friday deadline for all of the health system’s employees to be fully vaccinated or face termination. Hospital officials weren’t able to provide exact numbers on Monday, but said the vast majority of employees have complied.

Hospitals are dealing with a shortage of nurses, a situation that existed before the pandemic, but was exacerbated by COVID-19. They say they’re also short of lab technicians, medical assistants, housekeepers, pharmacists, food service workers and other personnel at a time when hospitals are at or near capacity.