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HIGH PATIENT VOLUMES IMPACTING PCHS

We have seen a significant increase in the average number of patients in our hospital this winter. Recently, we have broken records in the number of patients seen in our medical clinic and hospital. With the influx of patients with respiratory illnesses such as cases of influenza and RSV, we have had an average of 15 patients per day in our hospital this week. We also had 8 patients scheduled for surgery this week that needed beds so our capacity is being tested as a 25-bed facility.

“Luckily, these respiratory illnesses are things we have gotten very good at managing over the past few years and are well-equipped to handle,” said Tara Overmiller, COO/Authorized Administrator. “Because this is a very high illness season, it is also impacting our hospital workforce as the staff is also periodically out with illness or we have those parents who have needed to take time off to care for loved ones. But we also learned many lessons on dealing with staffing demands during the pandemic. We have great teams to take care of our patients and we take pride that they are choosing to get their healthcare needs met locally.”

We are working closely together to do everything possible to make sure our inpatient beds are available for when a patient needs us. Whether it is a patient needing to be transferred back to Phillipsburg for continued healing and care through our Swingbed/Transitional Care program or someone coming in through the Emergency Department, we want to make sure we have a bed available to care for the people that need us.


PCHS is also seeing a busier Emergency Department with the rise in respiratory illnesses.


Symptoms to look for that may require an ER visit:


Symptoms of shortness of breath if that is out of the ordinary for that patient, as well as if an individual has a fever that does not go away with over-the-counter medication, are potential signs someone may need to go to the emergency room. If individuals become malnourished, such as if they are not able to keep down fluids or food, or if a patient is dealing with confusion or sleepiness and are not able to become alert are other potential symptoms of concern. Any new chest pain should be evaluated, too.


Additional steps that people can take to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently used

  • Keep up with your vaccinations


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