University Hospitals ends emergency services at Bedford, Richmond Heights medical centers due to staffing issues

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 10:38 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - University Hospitals announced on Thursday that inpatient and emergency services at the system’s medical centers in Bedford and Richmond Heights are being discontinued due to staffing issues.

An analysis of services concluded with University Hospitals deciding to consolidate inpatient, surgical, and emergency department procedures at the Bedford and Richmond Medical Center to the Ahuja, Geauga, Lake West, TriPoint, Beachwood, Geneva and Conneaut locations.

The consolidation is effective Aug. 12.

The Bedford Medical Center on Blaine Avenue initially opened in 1928. The Richmond Medical Center on Chardon Road in Richmond Heights has served patients since 1961.

Both medical centers are approximately six miles from the next nearest emergency department.

Caregivers at the impacted medical centers will transition to support roles at other University Hospitals facilities with higher patient volumes.

At the time of the announcement, University Hospitals said there are more unfilled positions at the system’s facilities than at any other point in its history.

“A national workforce shortage has created unprecedented challenges for our health system. Although the decision to consolidate was difficult, it was necessary,” Dr. Paul Hinchey, University Hospitals interim chief operating officer and president of the Community Delivery Network, said. “Our hospitals in Bedford and Richmond Heights are among the smallest and least utilized within UH.”

Dr. Cliff Megerian, the chief executive officer at University Hospitals, released a video message about the decision:

This is not the first time that University Hospitals was forced to realign services. A nursing and caregiver shortage, which is still impacting the hospitals, caused the system to adjust during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physician services in Bedford and Richmond Heights will continue as scheduled. University Hospitals will also invest in the facilities to improve other services, including child health, food security, and other wellness programs.

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