Patient Transfers 'Most Significant Challenge' for Kearney Hospital

Jan. 31, 2022, 2:25 p.m. ·

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Any patient transfer is a challenge for hospitals in central Nebraska due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Bill Calhoun is the CEO of Kearney Medical Center. He said moving patients to Omaha or Lincoln for short-term, emergency care is difficult. Calhoun said it’s even more difficult to transfer those in need of long-term care.

“Our most significant challenge right now is someone who needs placement outside of the acute care environment, so finding a placement in a nursing home is nearly-next to impossible,” Calhoun said. “Most of the nursing homes that are in our area are just simply not taking transfers of patients.”

As for short-term patients, Calhoun said partnering with a larger eastern Nebraska hospital has made that slightly easier.

He said respiratory clinic admissions have dropped by about 20 percent since last week. Calhoun said he’s seeing early signs of declining numbers of new COVID cases for the Kearney community.