The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Resources

The Impact of COVID-19 on Hospital Resources

March 11, 2021

 

 

Healthcare professionals are often described as the heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.

For more than a year, they have shown a remarkable resilience. Under extreme duress, they have expanded their skill repertoire and stretched their own physical and emotional limits to provide complex and compassionate care. The article underscores the difficulty of formulating capacity plans to  respond quickly and effectively to successive surges in demand while normal revenue streams are constrained.

 


Video Spotlight: Burnout in the ICU


This post is based on The New York Times article, See How Covid-19 Has Tested the Limits of Hospitals and Staff, by J. Keefe, Y. Parshina-Kottas, & S. Fink, February 23, 2021, and the YouTube video, COVID-19: Doctors and Nurses Talk about Burnout as Another Wave Hits U.S., by TIME, November 23, 2020. Image source: Chaikom/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe the capacity plans needed to deal with sudden increases in demand volume and mix?

Guidance: To overcome the increased utilization of ICUs around the country, new areas have been repurposed and can accommodate COVID-19 patients. The staffing of these expanded ICUs has been more challenging. ICU care requires specialized personnel. As a result, pulling Continue reading

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Ready to Ration Care in Utah

Ready to Ration Care in Utah

 

After numerous warnings, Utah hospitals are preparing to ration care.

With soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, Utah hospitals have seen their ICUs reach dangerously high occupancy levels and have been forced to do the unthinkable: prepare to ration care. Under the Utah Crisis Standards of Care, protocols for deciding who gets ICU space or ventilators aim at doing the greatest good for the greatest number. In other words, some patients will have to be sacrificed to make room for others with better prospects of survival. It is hoped that the chilling guidelines will persuade Utahns to be more vigilant about limiting the spread of the virus.

 


Video Spotlight: Shortage of ICU Resources in Utah


This post is based on The Salt Lake Tribune article, Utah’s Hospitals Prepare to Ration Care as a Record Number of Coronavirus Patients Flood Their ICUs, by E. Alberty and S.P. Means, October 25, 2020, and the YouTube video, A Utah Infectious Disease Doctor on His State’s Coronavirus Crisis , by PBS NewsHour, October 26, 2020. Image source: Pordee_Aomboon / Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors contributing to the high occupancy rates of ICUs? Why is it difficult to Continue reading

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Cherry Picking: A Race Against Time

Cherry Picking: A Race Against Time

 

Cherries are a delicate and showy crop with an extremely short window from harvest to consumption.

By contrast, their growers are resilient people, and their pickers are highly skilled individuals with a high tolerance for harsh working conditions. This article describes the requirements for a successful harvest and addresses the challenges growers and pickers face to deliver the quality that consumers demand. It paints a thought-provoking picture of the race to secure the scarce capacity needed to harvest a product that we all take for granted.


Video Spotlight: Essential Workers Needed for Cherry Harvest


This post is based on The New York Times Magazine article, The Scramble to Pluck 24 Billion Cherries in Eight Weeks, by B. Jarvis, August 12, 2020, and the YouTube video, Cherry Farmers Worried About Harvest Season During Coronavirus Pandemic , by ABC10, April 13, 2020. Image source: nosonjai© 123RF.com.

Discussion Questions:

1. For cherry growers, what uncertainties threaten a successful season? How do they affect operations?

Guidance: The uncertainties include weather, foreign competition, lead time, and available capacity in terms of bees, refrigeration, bins, trucks, and most importantly, highly skilled labor. If there is too much rain, fans, wind Continue reading

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