Inadequate testing supplies and compromised safety of frontline healthcare providers lead hospitals' challenges, according to new OIG report.
US hospitals report that their most significant challenges during the early surge of the COVID-19 pandemic have centered on inadequate capacity to test and care for infected patients and keeping frontline healthcare personnel safe. The findings are from a new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
OIG conducted phone interviews from March 23-27 with 323 hospitals of different types and sizes in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Most were treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Challenges reported:
Severe shortage of testing supplies, exteneded waits for results
Widespread shortage of PPE
Diffuculty maintaining adequate staff, support staff
Difficulty maintaining/expanding hopsital capacity to treat patients
Shortages of critical supplies, materials, logistic support
Anticpated ventilator shortages
At the time of the interviews for the report, hospitals voiced pressing needs for government assistance in 5 primary categoreis to help meet COVID-19 response challenges:
Report authors note that the information collected is meant to aid HHS as it continues to manage the crisis, not to critique its response to the pandemic.
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