Confronting Coronavirus: Exploring Pathways to Recovery

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New Resources Offer Guidance on Recovery Process

Pathways to Recovery

The AHA recently shared with members an updated resource, COVID-19 Pathways to Recovery, which includes considerations, questions and checklists for hospitals and health systems to consider as they work toward a safe, orderly return to providing comprehensive health care services to their communities. This updated resource focuses on financial management and governance, support and ancillary services, and plant operations/environment of care. The first part of the resource covers workforce, testing and contact tracing, internal and external communications, and the supply chain. Development of the compendium was led by a recently formed AHA Board Task Force with input from many association members.

Cardiovascular Societies Offer Road Map to Restart Surgeries

North American cardiovascular societies have crafted joint guidance on the safe reintroduction of invasive procedures and diagnostic tests as more U.S. states ease restrictions on elective medical care. In the guidance, the societies shy away from making firm recommendations about specific timing and instead advise hospitals to work with public health officials to determine when to reintroduce procedures. The societies envision a three-step process, with more procedures taking place as regions exert more control over the coronavirus crisis.

Take Stock of Front-Line Clinicians’ Well-Being

Pandemic-Related Stress Rises Among ICU Clinicians

Many intensive care units are busy dealing with the pandemic, and a recent survey shows that clinicians in the ICU are feeling the stress. Physicians, nurses and other survey respondents rated their concerns about exposing family members to COVID-19 as a 10 on a 10-point scale and concerns about personal exposure to the virus as an 8. Respondents rated their stress level due to the pandemic as an 8 vs. a 3 before the pandemic. The survey was conducted by the Society of Critical Care Medicine, which surveyed members of four professional organizations in April.

AHA Resource Addresses Health Care Workers’ Well-Being during COVID-19

A new AHA resource, “Caring for Our Health Care Heroes During COVID-19,” shares ways hospitals and health systems are helping to care for and support the health care workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. The document focuses on three areas — mental health, food and housing — and features case examples from across the country. It also provides a list of national well-being programs and resources developed for health care workers.

An Innovative Initiative to Advance Well-Being

The National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience recommends a systems approach to professional well-being. During a May 22 webinar to be presented by the AHA Physician Alliance, participants will learn about frameworks that can allow organizations and individuals to understand stress models, manage the causes of pandemic-related anxiety and identify drivers of burnout. An award-winning faculty development initiative called the Scholars of Wellness will be presented and can be adopted by organizations to address well-being both during and after the pandemic. Register here.

CEOs Share Lessons from the Front Lines

Rapid Change Brings Rapid Learning

The COVID-19 crisis is a time of rapid learning and likely permanent change for health care. U.S. health care leaders recently described how their organizations are adjusting to the pandemic, how predictive analytics are driving care decisions and their perspective on what to expect from health care in the future.

In a recent AHA podcast, Siri Nelson, CEO of Marshall Medical Center in Placerville, Calif., shared how her hospital in El Dorado County prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, including partnering with community leaders, communicating with the public, redeploying clinical and support staff, securing COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment, and protecting health care workers.

In a separate interview, Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling recently shared how lessons from the pandemic spurred greater collaboration within Northwell’s hospitals and how interdisciplinary cooperation broke down silos during peak periods of activity. And in another report, Warner Thomas, FACHE, CEO of Ochsner Health, explained how his organization is managing the COVID-19 response for the system’s 41 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. He also discussed the impact of the epidemic on operations, staff, patients and the community.

Three More AHA Resources to Help Navigate the Pandemic

The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Hospitals

Hospitals and health systems face catastrophic financial challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently undertook four analyses to better understand and quantify these financial challenges, including: the effect of COVID-19 hospitalizations on costs; the effect of cancelled and forgone services caused by COVID-19 on hospital revenue; additional costs associated with purchasing needed personal protective equipment; and costs of the additional support some hospitals are providing to their workers. The report attempts to quantify these effects over the short-term — from March 1 to June 30. Based on these analyses, the AHA estimates a total four-month financial impact of $202.6 billion in losses for America’s hospitals and health systems, or an average of $50.7 billion per month.

Defending against COVID-10 Cyberthreats

While the nation’s hospitals and health systems are laser-focused on the global pandemic, cybercriminals are exploiting this massive crisis for financial gain. The AHA warns of four possible cybersecurity risks related to COVID 19: ventilator and life-support medical devices; email malware phishing campaigns and email frauds; VPN/telework and cloud-based vulnerabilities; and telehealth vulnerabilities. The AHA also has produced a two-part podcast on protecting critical networks from COVID-19 cyberthreats. Part 1 of the podcast features two senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials speaking with John Riggi, the AHA’s senior adviser for cybersecurity and risk; and Part 2 continues the conversation with the DHS about cyberthreats.

AHA Resource Spotlights COVID-19 Maternal and Neonatal Health

The new AHA resource "Maternal and Child Health During COVID-19" shares ways hospitals and health systems are caring for mothers and babies during the COVID-19 crisis. This resource examines labor and delivery policies, telehealth options for pre- and postnatal care, breastfeeding, pregnant health care staff and racial disparities. It also features case examples from across the country. AHA plans to periodically update this resource.

The AHA COVID-19 website has the latest tools and resources to help hospitals and health systems respond to the pandemic.

We want to hear from you! Please send your feedback to Bob Kehoe at rkehoe@aha.org.

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