Corona Update: SURGE CAPACITY SOLUTIONS – The mobi is a mobile headwall (equipment consolidator) that can be set up in any space that has an electrical outlet: next to a chair, a bed, a cot in a hallway, a cafeteria, or anywhere patients need to be located. Click here for more information.

Early Patient Mobility Blog

Preparing For Hospital Overflow

Hospital Overflow, COVID-19, Patient Mobility, Equipment Consolidator

May 4, 2021

Are Hospitals Ready for the Coronavirus?

Hospital Overflow Crisis: On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a “public health emergency of international concern;”1 a few weeks later, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention announced that “at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur,” warning that “public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths,” and that emergency medical services, healthcare providers, and hospitals “may be overwhelmed.”1 Three weeks after the introduction of the coronavirus, hospitals in Italy are operating at 200% patient capacity, and Giulio Gallera, the top health official in Lombardy describes the search for more acute care beds as a “race against time.”2 In the US, the medical director Dr. John Hick echoes this warning, saying that: “People don’t understand how close the health system runs to capacity every day. We just don’t have the trained staff to staff much beyond what we have now. Patients are waiting in the emergency department in many cities on a routine basis. Then you talk about adding a pandemic onto that? There are going to be compromises.” So, what creative options are available for maximizing existing hospital space?

PART I: Preparing for Hospital overflow

Hospital Overflow Solution: The mobi is an equipment consolidator that can be set up in any space that has an electrical outlet: next to a chair, a bed, a cot in the hallway, a cafeteria, or anywhere patients need to be located, allowing for monitors, ventilators, pumps, and IV poles to be continually with the patient.

Key Facts:

  • 10% of the patients who test positive for coronavirus must be admitted to intensive-care units.3
  • According to the American Hospital Association, since 1975, the improvements in medical practice, pharmaceuticals, and outpatient options (as well as pressure from insurance companies) have steadily reduced the number of both hospitals (12%) and hospital beds (16%). This system of consolidation and emphasis on outpatient treatment has limited the hospital system’s ability to accommodate for surges in demand. Many developed countries have 5.4 hospital beds available for every 1,000 patients. In the US, the number is 2.8.7
  • Only a small minority of US states have a formal protocol in place for dealing with a large-scale medical emergency. The existing plans are designed to maximize existing space by putting patients in doubled-up rooms, conference rooms, and any other unused spaces. 4
  • According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, coronavirus patients who do not require intubation can be safely isolated in a typical room, rather than a “negative pressure room.” Jane Englebright, CEO of HCA Healthcare Inc. has asked hospital staff to look for any space that might be modified for patient use, including storage closets and previously closed buildings. Cleveland Clinic has responded by planning to shift more than 1,000 non-coronavirus patients to nearby hotel rooms. Crews at Providence hospitals are building new isolation rooms with portable equipment: “It looks like MacGyver has been working in our hospitals…We have fans and filters and holes that have been filled up through any means necessary. Duct tape solves a lot of problems.”7
  • Even severe flu seasons have been known to stretch hospital resources, to the point where tents must be set up in parking lots and patients are held in emergency rooms for days. Dr. James Lawler estimates that coronavirus is likely to cause 5-10 times the burden of influenza, urging hospitals to “get prepared to take care of a heck of a lot of people.” Dr. Lawler estimates that 96 million people could be infected; assuming a 5% hospitalization rate, at least 2 million people would require intensive care and 1 million would require ventilators. 5

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Learn more about Livengood Medical Mobi Solutions.

What Customers Say


“6 months ago we implemented 12 mobis into our early mobility program. We have a very diverse population on our ICU and having the option of mobilizing them in a way that is helpful and assistive to staff while instilling confidence in the patient and family is great. We’re still working to figure out our ideal workflow but it’s given us concrete examples of how even our sicker vented patients can get mobilized safely and efficiently.”

Mark Rohlfing
RN, BSN Clinical Operations Manager Intensive Care Unit
Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital - Muncie, IN

“After completing a research study with the LIVENGOOD mobi on our post trauma/surgical floor, I realized its potential to decrease length of stay, help with staff efficiency and empower patients to be independent.”

Lorrie Henecke
MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNRN Clinical Nurse Specialist
Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland, CO

“We are so excited that the mobi helped us ambulate our very first vented patient.”

Esther Vandermeulen
University Health System - San Antonio, TX

“The LIVENGOOD mobi is very user friendly, safe and a great solution to use minimal staff and be able to contain all of the patient’s equipment.”

Michael Saccone
Saint Joseph's Hospital - Syracuse, NY

“I think the LIVENGOOD mobi will revolutionize the way we mobilize patients in the ICU. I saw patients mobilize sooner and with less anxiety with the mobi. One young patient was even able to walk outside with the mobi and her portable vent. Having the mobi made mobility a real team effort, not just a P.T. activity.”

Terra Terwilliger
PT, DPT - Adult Inpatient Physical Therapist
Rehab Services University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Health System

“The LIVENGOOD platform allows my patients to be active and independent without attention being diverted to multiple lines, an oxygen tank, and other medically necessary devices. It allows patients to have hope and a sense of “normalcy”, which so often is lost after trauma or surgery.”

Jessica Gilbert
Staff Physical Therapist - Medical Center of The Rockies -Loveland, CO

“Six years ago I was introduced to the LIVENGOOD mobi. This piece of equipment has been life changing for my patients. I am now able to consolidate all of the patient’s medical devices onto an easy to push mobile platform, therefore freeing up both of my hands to safely assist my patient.”

Tanya Kensley
Poudre Valley Hospital -Fort Collins, CO

“Mobility is Life, the mobi platform will help patients move again.”

Blas Villa
University Health System - San Antonio, TX

“I was at NTI in Boston (2013) and, during the exhibit portion, I wandered across the LIVENGOOD booth. At that moment, I knew our hospital needed this mobi for our open heart recovery program. I worked with a Clinical Nurse Specialist to write a grant for this product. I am so excited to bring the mobi to our program.”

Celina Adams
John C. Lincoln - Phoenix, AZ

“We walked a vented patient with the mobi and it was awesome! This helped her physically and emotionally.”

Natalie Hariel
Tulane Medical Center - New Orleans, LA

“I am a nurse in a cardiovascular ICU… Our goal for patients is to ambulate to the chair 2 hours after extubation, often the evening of surgery day. Our patients are up and walking with central venous catheters, swan ganz catheters, chest tubes, foley catheters, and with IV medications infusing. The ambulation of these patients would not be possible without the mobi walker. Every bit of equipment that these patients need can be carried on the walker while providing the stability of a standard walker… It is an essential piece of equipment for us and we couldn’t provide the care and therapies we do without it.”

Katherine Whitfield
Athens Regional Medical Center - Athens, GA

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