INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, the Indiana Hospital Association and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce convened a virtual news conference with one goal: to urge Hoosiers to get vaccinated or boosted. The hope is more vaccinated people will bring relief for hospitals and staff members.
“If every article, every conversation results in just a few more people across the state that’s getting vaccinated, it’s worth it,” Brian Tabor, IHA President, said.
IHA said hospitalizations, both COVID and non-COVID, are up 149% since mid-November.
“This is really requiring a lot of innovation, nimbleness, on the part of the members to do everything they can to find spaces to treat patients – in hallways, conference rooms, anywhere they can,” Tabor said.
Tabor said the delta variant is still putting many Hoosiers in the hospital.
“We are starting to see Omicron spread but really there is still a huge concern,” Tabor said. “Which is one of the reasons we’re having this event today to make these additional pleas to raise the alarm, because what we have ahead of us for let’s say the next 4 to 6 weeks as these overlap potentially could be catastrophic.”
The impact could burden what doctors say is an already overwhelmed system.
“When you have a huge number of patients coming in, you can’t increase your ratios fast enough,” Dr. Daniel McCormick, President and CEO at Franciscan Health Crown Point, said. “Then you have nurses and people leaving the system at the same time. That’s why there’s a shortage.”
Effective November 1, Good Samaritan Hospital put a vaccine mandate in place. Since then, 19 employees left of 1,800. Rob McLin, President & CEO, said only two were nurses which is why officials insist mandates are not what is causing people to leave health care work.
“The commentary for that being the reason for staffing issues in patient care areas anecdotally is not what drove our staffing issues at Good Samaritan,” McLin said.