State offers patient transfer program, out-of-state nurses to ease COVID-19 stress – msnNOW

a group of people in a room: COVID-19 © KCCI COVID-19

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday vowed to help ease the strain on health care working during the pandemic through two new state initiatives.

First, Reynolds announced the Iowa COVID-19 Transfer Line, which will allow any hospital in the state to move a coronavirus patient to a different facility for proper treatment.

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The transfer line, created in partnership with MercyOne, promises to help small rural hospitals in Iowa with limited resources.

“During the pandemic, with these episodic waves of infection and surges, the bed supply gets tighter and the difficulty in transfer of patient is remarkably different,” MercyOne CEO Bob Ritz said.

Second, the governor announced that the state contracted more than 100 out-of-state nurses to work in Iowa hospitals until the end of December.

Mary Ann Osborn, with UnityPoint Health, said most of the contracted nurses will work in surgical departments, intensive care units and the emergency rooms.

“It’s a great help to us, and it really is a boost to our staffing,” Osborn said.

Osborn said she hopes the extra hands give her current employees a sense of appreciation and some time off around the holidays.

“Particularly now during the month of December, it might allow one of our staff to actually have some relaxing time with their family over the holidays,” she said.

The governor said 80 of the 104 nurses contracted to work in Iowa are expected to begin Friday and will continue working in the state until Dec. 30.


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