U-M Health update

December 7, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

The state of Michigan is experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 illness with near record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state. 

Michigan Medicine is also experiencing high demand for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care at U-M Health. As a result, several operational changes will be made in order to continue balancing the health care needs of patients with COVID-19 and patients with other conditions.

These changes strike a delicate balance between meeting emergent patient needs, managing staffing and anticipating additional volumes in the future due to deferred care.

The primary areas that have been impacted include:

Adult Hospitals

  • Operating rooms: Inpatient surgeries have been reduced to 80% of routine volume, with decisions to reschedule cases made in partnership with clinical services after careful consideration of acuity, time sensitivity and risk for disease and/or symptom progression.
  • Transfers: Except in cases of rare exception, U-M Health is not accepting patient transfers from other providers.
  • Patient throughput: Nursing is leading the implementation of several throughput strategies to expedite patient discharge and bed and room turnover times.


  • Based on current inpatient census and need for additional critical care capacity, C&W is requesting temporary, additional NICU beds from the state based on Certificate of Need (CON).


  • Ambulatory care is experiencing reduced capacity for phlebotomy due to staff shortages.
  • The Brighton Health Center and Ypsilanti Health Center are not offering extended hours for primary care during the week.
  • The total number of patients that can receive monoclonal antibody therapy is currently limited by constraints created by staff shortages.

Leaders will continue to monitor staffing across the entire health system and make adjustments as needed to best serve our patients and best support our team members. This is an incredibly difficult and challenging time — thank you for your ongoing commitment to our patients and to each other.