Weekly News Roundup: August 7, 2020
Capacity Management During COVID-19
The intensity and duration of caring for critically ill patients during the pandemic has presented many unique challenges for hospitals. In this week’s news roundup: how hospitals can meet the needs of non-COVID patients; how to prepare for patient surges; why the COVID-19 hospital data system is plagued by delays and inaccuracies; and the mounting shortages of healthcare workers in cities across the country.
COVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies
Earlier this month, when the Trump administration told hospitals to send crucial data about coronavirus cases and intensive care capacity to a new online system, it promised the change would be worth it. The data would be more complete and transparent and an improvement over the old platform run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administration officials said.
Instead, the public data hub created under the new system is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors, data analysts say.
How Hospitals Can Meet the Needs of Non-COVID Patients During the Pandemic
During the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals worldwide diverted resources from routine inpatient critical care and outpatient clinics to meet the surge in demand. Because of the resulting resource constraints and fear of infection, clinicians and non-COVID patients deferred “non-urgent” visits, evaluations, diagnostics, surgeries and therapeutics.
Hospital Capacity Management: How to Prepare for COVID-19 Patient Surges
Health system resource strain became an urgent concern early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Hard-hit areas exhausted their hospital beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment, staffing, and other life-saving essentials, while other regions scrambled to prepare for inevitable surges. These resource concerns heightened the need for accurate, localized hospital capacity planning. With additional waves of infection in the summer months following the initial spring 2020 crisis, health systems must continue to forecast resource demands for the foreseeable future.
Houston, Miami, Other Cities Face Mounting Healthcare Worker Shortages as Infections Climb
Shortages of healthcare workers are worsening in Houston, Miami, Baton Rouge and other cities battling sustained COVID-19 outbreaks, exhausting staffers and straining hospitals’ ability to cope with spiking cases.
That need is especially dire for front-line nurses, respiratory therapists and others who play hands-on, bedside roles where one nurse is often required for each critically ill patient.