HCA Healthcare continues to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, treating more than 160,000 COVID-19 inpatients in 2021 and over 271,000 total from February 2020 to December 2021 — more than any other health system in the country. Throughout the pandemic, we have remained committed to the safety of everyone within our facilities by implementing precautionary measures such as masking policies, screening processes, social distancing guidelines and modified visitor policies as needed. We continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), professional society recommendations and state-based executive orders.
When the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in Florida, HCA Healthcare’s Enterprise Emergency Operations Center (EEOC) was tasked with supporting the National Group Clinical Operations team in the decompression of our hospitals throughout the state. Our Enterprise Preparedness and Emergency Operations (EPEO) Medical Transport Division facilitated contracting additional EMS and medical transport companies to safely transfer patients as needed. Dispatch and coordination of these companies was centrally organized through the EEOC’s Emergency Medical Services Operations Center (EMSOC), located in Nashville, Tennessee. Overall, nearly 1,000 patients were safely discharged or transferred to help create immediate bed capacity for patients.
Since the start of the pandemic, HCA Healthcare has treated more COVID-19 inpatients than any other health system in the U.S.
COVID-19 inpatients treated in 2021
total items of PPE distributed in 2021
The EEOC also partnered with HealthTrust and vendors to monitor oxygen levels and supply across our markets in real time. This helped HCA Healthcare maintain safe levels of oxygen supply at all of our facilities when the country was facing a shortage of oxygen.
Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be vital for the safety of our colleagues and patients. To diversify our supply chain and expand access to PPE, HCA Healthcare announced a joint venture business with A Plus International Inc. to manufacture procedural and surgical masks in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition, HCA Healthcare continues to work with partners and suppliers to ensure we meet the demand for PPE. Overall, we distributed more than 1.2 billion items of PPE in 2021.
We remain focused on the safety of our patients in our facilities by supporting safety initiatives and sharing best practices across our facilities. We engineer safety into our system by design, and our Patient Safety and Care Experience teams are responsible for managing our federally-chartered Patient Safety organization. They oversee Event Reporting, Patient Experience, Barcode Medication Administration and Medication Diversion Prevention, among other programs. They are also responsible for our clinical pharmacy surveillance software, implemented to prevent life-threatening medication errors, improve patient outcomes and reduce drug waste.