Tidelands Health has contingency plan in place for operating during gas shortage

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:36 PM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - Tidelands Health says many of its employees had to travel to several stations to find gas on their way to work due to the regional gas shortage.

Fortunately, officials say there is a contingency plan in place for situations just like this.

“When these things happen, we all realize how dependent we are on deliveries and transports and things like that,” said Gayle Resetar, Chief Operating Officer for Tidelands Health.

Resetar says the health system knew right away the impact a gas shortage could have on operations.

It wasted no time making sure certain contingencies were in place so operations could keep up as normal.

“Health systems like ours are very labor-intensive,” said Resetar. “New technology doesn’t reduce the number of workers we need.”

Resetar says they communicated with all employees in the health system to try to come up with ways to conserve fuel and keep hospitals and doctor’s offices running.

She says they talked about having some employees carpool, and others who have the ability to work from home, do just that.

“Maybe one of those people can help support the transport of a clinical worker who can’t work from home,” said Resetar.

Of course, getting employees to work is just one piece of the puzzle.

“One of the challenges I think for Tidelands Health is that we have 50 locations all over the place,” said Resetar. “Those require supplies, items medications, there’s just a lot of different things that have to make their way.”

Tidelands has contacted all of its distributors to make sure no shipments have been delayed.

Resetar says they haven’t had any issues with their major distributors, and that they’ve even moved up some truckloads a few days to make sure they are stocked for the weekend.

So, Tidelands is doing what it can to make sure its offices are stocked and staffed.

Now, Resetar just hopes patients can get where they need to go.

“We don’t want people to miss their doctor’s appointments either,” said Resetar. “We want people to be able to get the care they need. So, we want the consumers to have gas, too.”

Resetar says they currently plan to keep full operations, but they may have to start pooling resources and determining which operations are essential if the problem persists too long.

Tidelands has three regional COVID vaccine sites.

Since the vaccine is brought directly to those locations, they don’t have to transport it throughout the health system.

Officials also say they don’t foresee anything impacting vaccine availability at any of those sites.

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