Published on June 17, 2020

OHRH returning to more pre-COVID-19 levels of operation

By Katie Pickens, Owensboro Times

Local health officials said they are seeing far fewer hospitalizations related to the coronavirus, and Owensboro Health Regional Hospital is operating near pre-COVID-19 levels at this time. However, officials said there will not be a full return to normal until a vaccine is made available.

COVID-19 hospital admissions at OHRH have decreased significantly over the last two weeks, according to Chief Operating Officer Debbie Bostic.

“We are hopeful that this is an indication that our community is practicing good hand hygiene, social distancing and, most importantly, wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID,” Bostic said. “We want to continue to stress the importance of everyone wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public areas. Many people in our community are compliant with this practice; however, we continue to observe people who are not following this practice on a day-to-day basis when out in public areas.”

Bostic said as the hospital continues to phase back to normal, the reopening of elective surgeries at OHRH has gone well so far.

The hospital is averaging around 45 cases per day in the operating room, with totals averaging about 85 per day for other procedures.

OHRH is also operating “very near” pre-COVID-19 volume levels for all procedural areas, diagnostic testing and inpatient volume, Bostic said.

Almost all of the staff at OHRH are back to their normal roles prior to COVID-19, with the exception of employees at the hospital’s drive-thru testing site and those who are performing screenings at the various facilities.

“Since testing prior to procedures is required along with screening prior to entering an OHRH facility, we will be placing permanent staff in these positions,” Bostic said.

Though things are trending in a positive direction, Bostic said health experts at the hospital don’t think operations will be back to normal for some time to come.

“We as a healthcare organization do not foresee a semblance of normalcy until a vaccine is available,” Bostic said.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital, the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.