RI Dept. of Health Puts Patient Care Strategy in Place for RI Hospital Strike

Monday, July 23, 2018


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Nicole Alexander-Scott

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is working to ensure that Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals have a patient care strategy in place throughout the work stoppage.

As GoLocalProv reported last week, the Unified Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098 voted to strike.

The strike is set to begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 23 and is expected to last four days,

Patient Care Strategy

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, "the strategy will include plans for staffing of units throughout the hospital, plans for safely transitioning care to replacement healthcare providers, plans to manage any patient transport needs that arise, and plans to curtail certain forms of care that can be performed at other facilities."

RIDOH gives the following details about the strategy:

Two aims of the patient care strategy are to reduce patient volume at the hospitals, and to ensure that care is only provided at the hospitals if appropriate staff is on-site. Adjustments will be made in the areas of emergency services, stroke care, and elective procedures, among other areas.

  • Although Rhode Island Hospital’s Emergency Department will continue to accept all walk-ins, EMS will only be transporting trauma, burn, cardiac and respiratory arrest, and pediatric cases to Rhode Island Hospital’s and Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Departments. EMS will transport other patients to other hospitals’ emergency departments. RIDOH will monitor patient volumes at other facilities and revisit this policy during each day of the work stoppage.
  • During the work stoppage, EMS will bring stroke patients to the nearest of Rhode Island’s six Primary Stroke Centers. Ordinarily, severe stroke cases are transported to the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Rhode Island Hospital (provided that EMS could transport the patient to Rhode Island Hospital within 30 minutes).
  • The hospital has rescheduled all elective services and all non-urgent diagnostic testing for the duration of the work stoppage.


Steps that RIDOH has taken include:

  • Monitoring the hospitals’ work to ensure safe, quality care for patients. This has included pre-stoppage site visits to assess their levels of preparedness, and it will include being on-site at the hospitals throughout the work stoppage.
  • Expediting the process of issuing licenses to more than 1,400 replacement healthcare providers who will be at the hospitals. In anticipation of a potential work stoppage, RIDOH began the process of getting these individuals licensed on June 1.
  • Working with the leadership at all other Rhode Island hospitals to ensure their readiness for any additional patients. RIDOH has also been coordinating with other hospitals in the region outside of Rhode Island.
  • Working with EMS providers on updated transport guidelines.
  • Requesting that nursing homes expedite the process of receiving patients from hospitals (to help address patient volume issues).

Related Slideshow: RI Dept. of Health, RI Hospital Consent Agreement - June 2018


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