Service Line Update for Prowers Medical Center

Press Release
(Lamar, CO) October 28, 2021 – On August 30, 2021, the Colorado Board of Health passed an emergency rule that requires licensed health care facilities to develop and implement a policy and procedure to ensure 100% of their employees, direct contractors, and support staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a health care facility, we have an obligation and a duty to our patients’ safety by taking every precaution against this disease. Protecting our patients, team members, providers and visitors is always Prowers Medical Center’s top priority. A strategy that gives us the best chance to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our organization is to encourage our team members to get the vaccine.

Given the state issued mandate, our team members were required to decide whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is the most effective way of mitigating COVID-19’s impact on our patients and team members.  As with many hospitals across the nation, we have been challenged in achieving 100% compliance with the vaccination mandate. The deadline for health care employees to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination (if applicable) is October 31, 2021. As of this point in time, 90% of our team members have received the vaccine.

We believe that providing safe, quality patient care is of paramount importance. The pandemic has taken a toll on health care personnel, leading to burnout, fatigue, early retirement, and others leaving the field of health care entirely. The resulting shortage of health care workers combined with the new vaccine mandate, has only aggravated the situation. Since we have not yet reached the 100% threshold, we have had to evaluate our ability to provide our current services in a safe manner. We will not compromise on patient safety. Service lines where our staffing is particularly affected, may be altered until such a time
that we believe the staffing is sufficient to meet our standards.

To be clear, Prowers Medical Center will remain open to provide quality healthcare to the communities served. The Management Team and Board of Directors of Prowers Medical Center are committed to keep service lines open and available to the extent possible. Our most immediate task is to retain the team members we have in place and recruit additional workers as soon as possible. Until we are successful with our recruitment efforts, we will be required to make some modifications to various service line schedules and even press “pause” on others. Our team will regroup, rebuild, and restructure where
necessary so we can continue to provide our patients and community with quality, safe health care.

One of the most difficult decisions that we have had to make is to put a temporary pause on OB delivery.  This will require patients to seek our assistance with transition of care to another facility for delivery of their child. We intend to keep prenatal and outpatient services in the Women’s Health Clinic available as we currently have OB/GYN Physician coverage scheduled and available to our patients. However, until the hospital is safely able to re-establish OB delivery services, patients will need to transition prenatal care to an alternative OB/GYN Provider. Prowers Medical Center will continue to provide emergency OB
services to the best of our ability. We will continue to recruit additional team members and re-evaluate our progress along the way so we can re-open full-service obstetrics as quickly as possible.

We are modifying our patient appointment schedules with our Providers in our Rural Health Clinic. This may result in an occasional delay on the time frame in which you will be scheduled to meet with a health care provider. All modalities within our Imaging Services Department will continue to be provided, but some will be on a modified schedule for a period of time. Our Emergency Department remains fully operational to meet your emergent health care needs.

Due to the most recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area, Prowers Medical Center has re-implemented restrictions to our Visitors Policy. To protect our patients, team members, visitors, and our community, additional restrictions have been implemented affecting access to our Hospital, all Outpatient Departments, Clinics, and the Emergency Room. Prowers Medical Center recognizes there are times when having a visitor, family member or support person present is crucial to the patient’s care.

In most cases patients will be allowed one visitor or support person to accompany them. Additional considerations are given on a case-by-case basis by the unit manager or when the patient is a minor or disabled.  We believe that the actions detailed above provide for the most responsible path forward for Prowers Medical Center at this time. The modifications and temporary pause to service lines will allow us to continue our efforts with recruitment to better enhance our service line offerings to our patients and community.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to sharing our progress as we navigate through these challenging and uncertain times in health care.

Karen Bryant, Chief Executive Officer

Filed Under: City of LamarCOVID-19EmploymentFeaturedHealthHot TopicsMedia ReleasePublic Safety

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