The key to the quick transition is that Floyd Medical was prepared to take over. It already had plans to work with Kindred’s space, and it already had staff lists drawn up. The last few days have been spent not wondering if it should broach the possibility of a new ward, but converting the space, alerting the staff, and buying ventilators.
“The lucky thing is — not ‘lucky’ — but we’ve been really prepared in Floyd and planned for these things in the past,” said Ben Rigas, Floyd Medical’s emergency preparedness officer. “It goes back several years, not just a couple weeks.”
They don’t know if or when patients will come but, “We are preparing as if we were going to use these beds tonight,” Rigas said.
The hospital’s CEO notes that Floyd Medical Center doesn’t have special coronavirus expertise. If a lot of coronavirus patients do show up, the hospital will have the same challenge as others finding additional staff.
Early gave props to Kindred for cooperating as they were decommissioning the hospital. Kindred told the AJC in a statement the closure was “a strategic decision.”
The specialty hospital’s closure wasn’t about coronavirus, but it underscores the precarious state of Georgia’s hospital capacity if something big and unexpected hits.
Kindred Healthcare is partially owned by a private equity firm. Kindred owns dozens of long-term acute-care hospitals, and over the last couple of years, it has closed several in Texas and other states.