A webinar TODAY (Thursday, July 9 at 3pm EST) from the Network for Public Health Law addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diverse vulnerable populations, including Black/African Americans and Latinx, persons with disabilities, immigrants, persons who are incarcerated, older adults, nursing home residents, and persons who are homeless. The central role of palliative care across all systems will be addressed and a trauma-informed perspective in working with those affected by the pandemic, as well as the critical importance of workforce education and training.
This article by Noble et al. details the ED and health system response at UCSF in preparation for COVID-19 surge in San Francisco in February 2020, providing a comprehensive example and potential model for other EDs facing surge. A focus is the rapid deployment of “accelerated care units” (two negative-pressure treatment shelters), including associated communication, security, testing, staffing, leadership, and workflow needs.
This Health Affairs blog by Chernew et al. addresses the decline in health care services utilization in response to COVID-19 and what its effects on facilities and patient health mean for value and efficiency in structuring alternative payment models to prepare for future outbreaks.
This AP article and this NY Times article describe the continued shortages of PPE as the toll of the pandemic and resurgence in hospitalizations have depleted critical stocks. Initial shortages were widely reported but were most acute at large urban hospitals in particular areas. But continuing demand now affects a wide range of facilities nationally, as only limited federal coordination of procurement or distribution has materialized and has been criticized for distribution strategies. PPE shortages have led to nonstandard reuse (e.g., of disposable N95 masks) and use of less protective options (e.g., surgical masks vs. N95s; in some cases garbage bags vs. gowns) that may increase infection risks for frontline health care workers. Shortages have also caused continued closure of practices and office, resulting in significant delays in patient care, including for serious but currently non-life-threatening conditions.