Federal Coronavirus Data Shows Plague Hospitals Shortage of Health Care Staff: Shots

Federal Coronavirus Data Shows Plague Hospitals Shortage of Health Care Staff: Shots

Healthcare worker Kovid-19 treats a patient in the ICU of the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Twenty-two percent of Texas hospitals noted severe staff shortages this week in new federal data.

Go Nakamura / Getty Images


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Healthcare worker Kovid-19 treats a patient in the ICU of the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Twenty-two percent of Texas hospitals noted severe staff shortages this week in new federal data.

Go Nakamura / Getty Images

More than 1,000 hospitals in the United States are “severely” short on staff, according to figures released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Those hospitals, which are spread across all DC0 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, represent about 18% of all hospitals that have their employee status HHS. And that number is expected to grow: 21% of all reporting hospitals say they expect a severe staff shortage in the coming weeks.

The most affected state, North Dakota, with 51% of hospitals reported that they are facing shortages; Seven states say more than 30% of their hospitals are in trouble.

This is the first time the federal agency has released this data, which includes limited reports going back to the summer. The federal government began collecting this data in July. After a continuous ward trend for months, the number of hospitals reporting shortages this month has surpassed 1000 and has been above ever since.

The data, however, are still incomplete. H.H.S. Not all hospitals that report daily COVID-19 reports on the status of their staff in, so it is impossible to say how much this number has increased.

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While information is a welcome addition to the arsenal of information that public information officers have to fight against COVID-19, it highlights the shortcomings of what it is. The federal government has made it available to the public. However the government has daily figures for COVID-19 hospital admissions Thousands of hospitals across the country share a small subset of this information with people outside the government.

Pinar Karaka-Mendic, a professor at the University of Minnesota led by Project that collects COVID-19 hospital data“Very positive data development and effort,” says the new information release.

“It offers the possibility of planning ahead, especially the lack of expected staff,” he says. There is so much data for hospital admissions that the federal government does not make public that could give researchers and the public more information, she says, including the age and gender of hospital admissions.

Looking ahead to next week, additional hospitals report staff shortages in 40 states as well as Puerto Rico. Nebraska, Virginia and Missouri top the list of places where the largest borrowing is expected.

The scarcity brought about by the resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic has forced hospitals to take unusual measures to continue treating patients. In North Dakota, nurses were told they could continue to work even if they were infected with the virus, as long as they did not show symptoms.

Side effects public media Reported this week That Kansas City, Kansas hospital system was fielding calls from hospitals as far away as Arkansas, Colorado and Iowa, which were in the transfer of very sick patients due to their inability to care.

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“I think capacity, in terms of staffing, is probably the biggest challenge for hospitals,” said Nasia Safdar, medical director of infection control at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. PBS told Wisconsin.

“As we are seeing an increase in the rate of infection in the community, we are also seeing an infection in our employees,” he said. “It’s relatively easy when a new bed comes from somewhere, but you really can’t bring a fully trained health care worker without a lot of challenges.”

In Missouri, Dave Dillian, a A spokesman for the State Hospitals Association said the fear was that hospitals would have to start operating if the increase continued. Crisis standards of careA guide to prioritizing care when resources are short-lived.

“If this was a regional or local crisis like the one we would have seen in New York early on, nurses would have volunteered to participate in the emergency.” “It’s no longer available because this is everywhere.”

Two state hospital associations – Missouri and Texas – told NPR that they were unaware of any support from the federal government in their hospitals to help with staff shortages. “If it’s happening, it hasn’t crossed our desk yet,” says Carrie Kroll of the Texas Hospitals Association.

H.H.S. A spokesman for NPR said in a statement to NPR that the agency investigates every case of staff shortages and reaches out to state or hospital staff for assistance or coordination.

Employee data is collected daily from hospitals, who Asked the answer Yes or no for these questions: “[Do] Today you have a shortage of staff “and”[Do] You expect a critical shortage of staff in a week. “It is up to the hospitals to decide what qualifies as a serious shortage. The government collects information on what kind of staff it is (ICU nurses vs. pharmacy staff vs.), but that information has not been made public.

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Data is collected in most cases from hospitals directly on the New Federal Platform, which was abruptly arranged in July by the Department of Health and Human Services. An unknown contractor named Teletracking. The move stripped the CDC of its responsibility to collect and analyze this data, and There was a great uproar. H.H.S. There has been a new system called Protect Marred by incompetence And limited transparency.

Detailed data for hospital admissions can help health leaders try to plan ahead and be ready for hospital admissions, Researchers have told NPR.

An HHS spokesman says the agency continues to add information Healthdata.gov And he “takes responsibility for taking the data seriously for the American people.”

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