Upstate closes 20% of patient beds

Upstate University Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. David Lassman/The Post-Standard (TNS)

SYRACUSE — Due to an ongoing shortage of nurses, Upstate University Hospital has reduced its number of staffed beds to maintain balance between managing high patient volumes and availability of staff.

According to CNY Central, the hospital has decided to de-staff 124 beds, leaving 544 beds open — a reduction of about 20%.

The hospital currently has 400 open nursing positions and a total workforce of around 1,440 registered nurses.

In a video posted to Upstate University Hospital’s website earlier this month, Dr. Robert Corona, chief executive officer, said: “We’re trying to achieve a balance between managing the high volume (of patients) and the reduction in the availability of staff, so we’ve maintained our staffing ratios which means we had to reduce some of the beds that were staffed.”

According to CNY Central, hospital administrators are continuing to assess staffing levels to make sure patients receive high-quality care and safety and ensure patient-to-staff ratios are at safe levels.

Aggressive advertising is being pursued for new employees as well as improving pay for extra work, including enhanced overtime pay for nurses and vacation day accruals.

In the video, Dr. Corona said that reducing the number of staffed beds also means the hospital has less availability for surgeries.

“We’ve reduced our elective surgeries to the point where there really aren’t any more elective surgeries,” he said in the video. “They are all medically necessary and every day our surgeons have to make tough decisions on who gets to have surgery and who has to have their surgeries postponed.”

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