The Omicron variant has caused an extreme surge of patients across the U.S. According to a recent article by ABC News, the number of COVID-19-positive Americans hospitalized is now nearing a pandemic high of more than 138,000. It has also been estimated that about 17,000 patients are admitted to hospitals each day. Many healthcare organizations are overwhelmed by the current surge and are looking for solutions. We spoke with Dr. Liana Casusi, MD, to learn more about surge management.
Casusi shared that the recent surge has only intensified the labor crisis. "Because the predominant viral strain nowadays seems more virulent, it spreads more easily from one person to another. From a medical perspective, staffing the health facilities is a major challenge we face. At any point in time, several health workers who get tested turn out positive for Sars-CoV-2 and would need to be isolated. Since the past year, we have been short on staff, but with this more transmissible strain, more health workers need to be isolated."
She further explained that when these healthcare professionals test positive, finding someone to take their place in the schedule is a significant challenge for the already strained workforce. Casusi advises healthcare leaders to focus heavily on preparedness. "Do not stop at plan B or plan C when it comes to staffing. Make as many contingency plans as possible - and this may sound toxic, but in the long run, preparedness helps a lot," said Casusi. Read this resource on managing healthcare operations during COVID-19 from the CDC to learn more.
Brittanie is a passionate marketing specialist and content creator from Washington state. She has a background in both education and healthcare. Brittanie enjoys researching, crafting, and sharing stories that highlight how modern technology is transforming the healthcare industry.
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