ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — An evaluation of Sycamore Shoals Hospital services is underway, Ballad Health announced on Thursday.

In reference to the evaluations, Ballad stated to News Channel 11 that nationwide staff shortages and financial losses play a significant role in causing the changes.

Below are the factors Ballad reportedly takes into consideration when evaluating consolidations:

  • Sufficient hospital volume to sustain a high-quality program
  • Adequate staffing to sustain services
  • Exploring ways to provide services at a higher level of care
  • Analyzing potential impacts of access on team members
  • Examining whether the evidence supports consolidation

“The leadership of Ballad Health will make a final decision [on Sycamore Shoals] once all appropriate steps are taken,” stated a Ballad Health spokesperson.

According to the spokesperson, the following consolidations have been implemented across the region:

  • Inpatient services to Sycamore Shoals from Johnson County Community Hospital and Unicoi County Hospital
  • Level 1 Trauma consolidations
  • Level III NICI services consolidation
  • Two obstetric programs in Kingsport to Indian Path Community Hospital
  • Consolidation of two hospitals in Greeneville and Wise County, Virginia
  • Consolidation of surgical services in Wise County, Virginia

“In every instance where Ballad Health has consolidated a service or hospital, the evidence has demonstrated an improvement in the quality of care, the hospital has flourished and access to care has not been negatively impacted,” said the spokesperson.