Intermountain Healthcare postpones elective and non-emergent procedures


Patrick Jones


Intermountain Healthcare announced it would postpone elective and non-emergent surgeries and procedures on Monday due to capacity issues from increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations


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Intermountain said this decision was: 

“An effort to maintain a safe environment and ensure each patient receives the best care possible.” 

Hospitals will conduct reviews of daily surgical and procedural schedules, staffing, overall volumes and other resources to determine which surgeries can be done. Intermountain said impacted patients will be notified by phone ahead of their scheduled surgery times. 

Utah hospitalizations are greatly increasing with numbers not seen since February of this year. According to the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Daily Hospital Survey Data, 84.5% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied. However, that does not accurately depict the status of Utah ICUs. UDOH said true capacity for ICU beds is reached at 85% occupancy.  

“The UDOH receives reports about the total number of available ICU beds in the state. However, this reporting does not reflect the number of staffed beds able to care for patients. At about 69% overall ICU utilization, ICUs in Utah’s major hospitals with the ability to provide best care for COVID-19 patients begin to reach staffing capacity … When 85% capacity is reached, Utah will be functionally out of staffed ICU beds, indicating an overwhelmed hospital system.”

Since February, unvaccinated Utahns have had a 5.5 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID and a 6 times greater risk of hospitalization.

Intermountain said all other hospital and clinic services are open and seeing patients. Health care professionals advise not to delay emergent care and go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.