Audio: Missouri to launch ‘Project Echo’ to help reduce COVID-19 strain on hospitals

Hospital bed at emergency section entrance of hospital

On December 8, the state will launch a program that aims to better equip Missouri’s rural hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients and avoid further strain on the largest hospitals.

Some of the larger hospitals have had to stop accepting ambulances and patient transfers from rural areas for periods of time due to capacity problems. State Health and Senior Services Department Director Randall Williams says the program, called Project Echo, will include specialists giving guidance to workers at smaller hospitals.

 

 

Williams says the state is converting ventilators to high-flow oxygen and making those available to smaller hospitals. The state is also reviewing where it can get other nurses from, including other states and using LPNs and others to free up nurses.

 

 

Williams says the National Guard has helped hospitals during the pandemic, but he is not aware of soldiers helping with hospital staffing problems. The state is reviewing where it can get other nurses from, including other states and using LPNs and others to free up nurses.

 

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