Tonawanda News

December 13, 2013

Kenmore Mercy to close patient unit

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Kenmore Mercy Hospital announced that it will close one if its patient units in January due to declining medical admissions, a press release from the Catholic Health System states.

The hospital will close 3 West Patient Care on Jan. 12 and consolidate the remaining patients in other units. The 30 employees who work in the unit will be transferred elsewhere in the hospital or be offered positions elsewhere in the country.

“As we move patients to other units, we will need to increase staffing on those units,” hospital President and CEO James Millard said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the vast majority of the displaced associates will find similar positions within Kenmore Mercy or Catholic Health.” 

Over the last four months, the average number of monthly medical admissions — those admitted for reasons other than surgery — has decreased by 15 percent. The hospital said the decrease is the result of Kenmore Mercy’s attempts to enhance quality and keep the cost of care low. 

“While health reform is working, hospitals across the country are seeing their medical admissions decline as we find new and better ways to care for patients in more appropriate health care settings,” Millard said. “By consolidating nursing units, we can better serve our patients as well as support our associates by ensuring a patient census on each unit that will enable us to maintain the best complement of staffing on each shift.”

The hospital’s orthopedic department, which has a new unit on the south side of the facility, is still seeing increased growth. 

“We must keep pace with health reform and change with the needs of our community,” Millard said. “Our new emergency department and orthopedic unit are enabling us to enhance comfort, quality and safety to improve the health of our community, while controlling the rising cost of care.”