Medical equipment, equipment for a range of different uses, is out-of-reach for patients in the Phoenix area, according to a report by the state Department of Health Services.
The agency’s medical facility inventory report, released Wednesday, revealed that out of the 1,532 medical facilities in Arizona, only 479 have equipment that is required for the care of patients.
There were also only five hospitals in the state with enough inventory to meet the standard for full-service hospitals.
In addition, there were just one facility in the county that had enough to meet full-hospital standards.
The report found that medical equipment was out of date, out of service, and inaccessible.
“It is our understanding that many medical facilities have limited inventory and resources to support their current needs,” said Dr. Thomas Schuette, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Arizona Health System.
“The most vulnerable patients need the most care.”
The report did not include a breakdown of how much equipment is needed by the more than 5,500 people who are enrolled in Phoenix’s Medicaid expansion program.
“We have been working closely with the hospital and hospital partners to identify inventory that is in place to meet their needs,” Dr. Schuettes said.
“If there are shortages, we are prepared to provide a temporary solution, but the long-term solution is to have a solution that supports patient care and provides the necessary supplies.”
The agency also issued a warning to hospitals and other facilities that they should be mindful of the state’s current and future inventory.
“A large majority of facilities are underutilizing their inventory and we are asking them to work with us to find and implement a solution to the shortages that are currently in place,” Schuades said.
The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday that the agency is working with local hospital groups and other health care providers to create a list of medical equipment that can be used in a “federally approved” hospital setting.
It also issued guidelines on how to get in touch with a health care provider to get equipment, as well as instructions on how the agency should use the equipment.
“I have asked that our agency contact each of our medical supply partners for information regarding the current status of inventory and equipment in the local medical system,” Dr