Hospital staffing is most critical in Vermont, according to a nationwide study

·2 min read

A recent study looking at hospital capacity around the nation ranked Vermont the worst for hospital staffing shortages.

The study by Quote Wizard ranked states according to how prepared they would be with another COVID-19 surge. Information was compiled Jan. 12 based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Vermont's top ranking reflects 69% of hospitals in the state were facing critical staffing levels. At the top of the list with Vermont were Rhode Island at 67% and New Hampshire at 60%, suggesting at least part of New England is dealing with major staffing issues. The national average was 29%; Massachusetts was above at 38%, but Maine fared well at 18% and Connecticut had the best percentage in the nation at 4%.

A nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) puts on PPE before entering the room of a COVID-19 positive child receiving care on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. For months, more and more patients with acute health conditions have landed in the ICU and a second COVID-19 surge is stretching capacity. Where a typical acute patient might spend a week or less in the ICU, COVID-19 patients can take up a bed for a month or more.
A nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) puts on PPE before entering the room of a COVID-19 positive child receiving care on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. For months, more and more patients with acute health conditions have landed in the ICU and a second COVID-19 surge is stretching capacity. Where a typical acute patient might spend a week or less in the ICU, COVID-19 patients can take up a bed for a month or more.

The study also looked into the percentage of ICU beds in use, ICU beds per 1,000 people, number of pediatric hospitalizations, physicians per 1,000 people and percent of ICU utilized.

Vermont was higher than the national average for percent of ICU beds in use — 82% compared to the average of 78% — but was middle of the pack compared to other states. Rhode Island fared the worst for ICU beds in use at 96%.

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Analysts ranked states according to which ones were least prepared for hospital capacity. Vermont ranked 19th overall but had the lowest score in ICU beds per 1,000 people at 0.98. Vermont was shown to have 3.75 physicians per 1,000 people which put the state in the top 10 for that measurement. The state also had among the lowest pediatric hospitalizations for COVID-19 — one at the time the data was collected.

Contact reporter April Barton at abarton@freepressmedia.com or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.

This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: New study shows Vermont to have worst hospital staffing shortage

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