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HHS OIG Report – Hospital Experiences Responding to COVID-19

Hospital Experiences Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of a National Pulse Survey March 23-27, 2020 04-03-2020 | OEI-06-20-00300 | Complete Report “…WHAT WE FOUND – Hospitals reported that their most significant challenges centered on testing and caring for patients with COVID-19 and keeping staff safe. Hospitals said that severe shortages of testing supplies and extended waits for test results limited hospitals’ ability to monitor the health of patients and staff. They also reported that widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) put staff and patients at risk. In addition, hospitals said that they were not always able to maintain adequate staffing levels or to offer staff adequate support. Hospitals also described substantial challenges maintaining and expanding capacity to care for patients. Capacity concerns emerged as hospitals anticipated being overwhelmed if they experience a surge of patients, who would need specialty beds and isolated areas for effective treatment. Hospitals explained that shortages of critical supplies, materials, and logistic support that accompany more beds affected hospitals’ ability to care for patients. Hospitals also cited anticipated shortages of ventilators as a potential challenge. Hospitals described increasing costs and decreasing revenues as a threat to their financial viability. Further, hospitals reported that changing and sometimes inconsistent guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities posed challenges and confused hospitals and the public…”

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