Monument Health to use shell spaces to provide COVID-19 beds

Monument Health, Rapid City, S.D.
Monument Health, Rapid City, S.D.(KOTA)
Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 4:32 PM MDT
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With the projected wave of COVID-19 cases projected to peak in South Dakota later this spring, Monument Health began preparations to deal with the high numbers of cases.

A hospital official says one of the biggest things they are working on is capacity planning.

Chief Performance Officer Nicole Kerkenbush says the hospital is using models from across the state and country in an attempt to predict the number of potential patients Monument Health could see in the Black Hills.

These numbers are used to assess the numbers of beds, staff, equipment, and even supplies that will be needed in order to take care of COVID-19 patients

Kerkenbush says these models show the available bed space at the five hospitals across the Black Hills would not be enough. But, she says the hospital is working on analyzing places where additional beds could be added.

“We are building out what was currently shelled space during our construction efforts—space that was not intended for this purpose, but, given the need, we are building it out to take care of patients,” said Kerkenbush. “We are really looking at a total gain throughout our system, not just in Rapid City, but throughout, of over 800 beds, and using internal shelled space, like I just mentioned, as well as off-campus space in all of our markets to house those patients as we need to.”

Kerkenbush explained these shelled spaces at Monument Health in Rapid City would be in the emergency department, on the 2nd floor, and above the heart and vascular units. It would provide 172 patient beds.




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