Operation Warp Speed

Operation Warp Speed

March 15, 2021

Not since World War II and the Manhattan Project, has a project been so important to the world as Operations Warp Speed.  Its goal was to take a process that normally takes years to complete, and bring the COVID-19 vaccine to the world.

As a result of its importance, a public-private effort using many resources sped the development of the vaccine.  Under less urgent circumstances, vaccine development may take up to 10 years, billions of dollars, and have a high failure rate.  Several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and made ready for distribution in less than one year.

A variety of tactics were applied to the problem.  One is the combination of private/government collaboration.  Additionally, the US Federal Government allocated $10 billion in federal funds to support the effort.

This money allowed organizations to apply funding to crash activities, in order to reduce completion time.  In many cases, activities normally completed in sequential fashion were completed simultaneously, or at least allowed to overlap.  For example, many phases of the clinical trials were overlapped to reduce time.

Also, with government funding, production of the vaccines began before the clinical trials had ended.  Under Continue reading

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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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California’s Maxed ICU Capacity and Lockdowns

California’s Maxed ICU Capacity and Lockdowns

January 8, 2021

California led the nation in early lockdown measures for COVID during the holiday season at the end of 2020.  This followed the pattern set in spring 2020, when California locked down early and swiftly, stemming a tide of rising COVID cases and flattening the curve successfully.

This time, the state pointed to dire forecasts for December to justify another rapid shutdown, with the trigger being ICU capacity.

The state is divided into five regions. If available ICU capacity drops below 15% in a given area, that region goes on lockdown for at least three weeks.

Two days after the announcement was made, two regions were already in that category, with a third voluntarily adopting the lockdown pre-emptively to stem the tide sooner rather than later.  By the middle of December, Central California had reached zero percent ICU capacity.

The California Government’s About COVID-19 restrictions site provides updates on lockdown status based on ICU capacity.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the AP News Continue reading

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