Mercy Health Muskegon is addressing long wait times in the emergency room while also encouraging residents to get vaccinated.
The hospital says long wait times in the emergency department are partially the result of a higher percentage of patients needing to be admitted and patients stays have increased from 3 to 4 days.
Mercy Health Muskegon says it along with the entire health care industry is facing a staffing shortage. The hospital currently has close to 4,000 employees but there are still 400 positions open, many which are for nurses.
The hospital says it is getting some help from staffing agencies, has created retention incentives for current staff and also a college referral incentive program to fill those open jobs.
Muskegon County remains in a "very high" rate of COVID cases and the hospital's chief medical officer Dr. Justin Grill is encouraging unvaccinated community members to get vaccinated.
Hospital President Gary Allore says he knows long wait times are a big concern for Muskegon County residents but it's not the result of closing and now removing Hackley Hospital.
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