SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A new study ranks Utah hospitals the worst in the nation for COVID-19 preparedness, but the Hospital Association says the study is inaccurate.
In each state, research analysts from QuoteWizard compared the number of hospital beds to the number of physicians per 1,000 people. In Utah, researchers found the state had 2.11 physicians per 1,000 people, and 1.82 beds per 1,000 people.
Those numbers put Utah in the number one spot for worst state in the nation for hospital preparedness.
The Utah Hospital Association said the study “missed the boat” on criteria.
“They didn’t take into account that we have fewer cases, per capita, we have fewer infection rates, we have a lower infection rate, we have a lower hospitalization rate, we have better outcomes, we have fewer deaths,” Greg Bell, President and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association explained. “They didn’t take into account how many ICU beds we have, how many ventilators we have, they didn’t account for the search capacity we have, in other words, the auxiliary beds that both, we as hospitals in the state of Utah have reserved for a real surge if we had a huge run on hospital beds. They didn’t talk about PPE that the doctors and nurses we have. We’re in pretty good supply of that. It didn’t talk about our load balancing capacity amongst our hospitals, and even in our hospital systems.”
“In retrospect, Utah, being least prepared on our analysis a few months ago, you know, might not have been the absolute truth,” admitted Adam Johnson, a Research Analyst with QuoteWizard.
Johnson said after speaking with Bell about the data, he realized Utah hospitals are better equipped than he originally reported, but also added that his data is still valid.
“It’s really an allocation of resources. While there may not be as many hospital beds per person, as in other states, or physicians per person, it’s the allocation of those resources. That’s it’s a key factor.”
Bell said Utah is prepared and ready to handle an influx in cases, but also added that Utah hospitals will become overwhelmed if numbers continue to skyrocket.
“Now, I don’t want to give the feeling that people can just willy nilly, you know, become infected and go to a hospital at some point. Unless through masking or other procedures, we get our rate lowered, then we will overwhelm our hospitals. I mean, there’s just no question about that. But we’re not at that point here.”
To read the entire study click, here.