Why Florida hospitals are marketing ERs as bed availability shrinks

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Healthcare facilities in Tampa, Fla., are marketing their emergency situation departments regardless of being near capacity, according to a July 31 Tampa Bay Business Journal report

” One of things we did early on in the pandemic was online technique. We were concerned people who believed they had the virus would be clogging the ERs and we would not be able to deal with others,” Mr. Rafalski told the Tampa Bay Business Journal, although he also stated he does not think ER visit volume will go back to the pre-pandemic normal. In Pinellas County, where BayCare is based, there is 19 percent readily available bed capability.


BayCare Health System in Clearwater said the lower ER volume has affected its marketing technique and the health system has actually transitioned messaging from awareness on coronavirus to focus more on the crisis. Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Edward Rafalski stated the system is preparing to focus messaging around healing in the future.

BayCare is currently halting elective surgical treatments to ensure there are adequate resources to look after COVID-19 clients, but is still promoting its ER as a clean and safe space on TV, radio, print ads and digital billboards.

A spokesperson for Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth, which has actually been running radio and paper advertisements for its ERs, reported an increase in COVID-19 patients requiring to be admitted and plans to offer medical examinations as well as vital care in the ER. The health system worries that if patients delay emergency situation care throughout the pandemic, their conditions will worsen. In Seminole County, where AdventHealth is based, there is 23.57 percent readily available bed capability as of July 31, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration for the state of Florida.

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