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Surge Capacity Strategies

Articles, blogs, and reports about health workforce capacity issues and strategies.

(05/22/20) To Test Our Way Out of the COVID-19 Nightmare, Focus on Nursing Homes
An article outlining the risk of COVID-19 infection to both patients and workers in long-term care facilities, and a call for increased funding to focus testing on these populations

(05/21/20) New Primary Care Survey Shows Practices in Trouble Now and in the Future
According to the 10th weekly survey from the Primary Care Collaborative, more than half of primary care clinicians are concerned that they will not be prepared for another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, both mentally and physically as well as financially

Primary Care & COVID-19:
(05/21/20) Week 10 Survey
(05/13/20) Week 9 Survey

A weekly primary care survey about COVID-19 from the Primary Care Collaborative and the Larry A. Green Center. The goal of this project is to assess primary care’s ability to evaluate and manage patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and to consider policy implications going forward.

(05/21/20) After COVID-19: How to Rejuvenate Primary Care for the Future
A blog post discussing some of the innovative changes primary care can make based on what has been practiced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include increasing utilization of telehealth as well as addressing barriers to access such as payment and organization, including solutions to move beyond those barriers.

(05/21/20) COVID-19 Effect on Mental Health: Patients and Workforce
A statement from a group of psychiatrists published in The Lancet discussing the measures that have been taken in various parts of the world to allow for access of telepsychiatry and training and availability of personal protective equipment for psychiatrists

(05/20/20) New Workforce Estimates Show Public Health Never Recovered From the Great Recession. Then Came COVID-19
A piece discussing the state of the public health workforce during the past decade. Estimates show that the public health workforce is smaller now than it was a decade ago in the midst of the great recession, a troubling sign considering the potential need for hundreds of thousands of contact tracers.

(05/19/20) The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Outpatient Visits: A Rebound Emerges
A publication from the Commonwealth Fund covering the changes in outpatient visit volume throughout the pandemic. While March saw a steep initial drop in patient volume, there has been a steady increase in patient volume since, however still below what is expected. This trend was observed across the United States.

(05/18/20) The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Have a Long-term Impact on Healthcare. Here are 4 Changes to Expect
An article highlighting some of the changes that may become important for delivering health care post-COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to how elective surgeries are performed, increased use of telehealth and more frequent cleaning of facilities

(05/18/20) COVID-19 and Telehealth Revolution Policy Barriers Are Standing in the Way of Transforming Care
An article describing changes to improve access to health care remotely via telehealth in response to COVID-19. These improvements are time-limited, and risk becoming barriers to telehealth unless they are allowed to become permanent following the COVID-19 pandemic.

George Washington University Mullan Institute COVID-19 Webinar Series:
(05/18/20) Ensuring Access to Oral Care
(05/11/20) Data Tool to Calculate Contact Tracer Workforce Need
See all webinars here
The George Washington University Mullan Institute is hosting a webinar series regarding emergency health workforce policies to address COVID-19.

(05/18/20) Medicaid Clinics and Doctors Have Been Last in Line for COVID-19 Relief Funding
An article describing the issues clinics and providers who primarily treat Medicaid patients have been experiencing in receiving COVID-19 relief funding.

(05/18/20) How Will COVID-19 Change Patient Experience, Healthcare Delivery?
An article outlining the perspectives of some primary care providers about the ways in which COVID-19 has changed the patient experience in primary care, as well as what changes may be expected to be maintained in a post-pandemic environment.

(05/13/20) Psychiatrists ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ With Transition to Telemedicine
An article describing the forced shift for psychiatrists to telemedicine based treatment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some benefits and disadvantages are listed, with most psychiatrists reporting a desire to return to in-person practice beyond the pandemic.

(05/11/20) As MH Workforce Evolves During COVID-19, Telehealth Seen as New Normal
A newsletter describing the impact of COVID-19 on how the mental health workforce provides health care. Recent shifts to telehealth may become integrated in treatment after the pandemic has passed.

(05/11/20) Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle: Home Health Workforce is Essential to Addressing COVID-19
An article discussing comments from former United States Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and other experts regarding the importance of home health care in reducing the burden of COVID-19 on hospital systems and improving treatment options for patients.

(05/11/20) Federal Funding For State and Local Contact Tracing Efforts Is an Urgent Priority, and a Bargain
A blog post advocating for improved funding for public health as an investment to contain COVID-19 and allow for safe reopening of the economy through extensive contact tracing.

(05/09/20) Three Workforce Strategies To Help COVID Affected Communities
A blog post offering some strategies to best assist the communities most impacted by COVID-19. The premise behind these strategies is utilizing a large community-based public health workforce to protect vulnerable communities, act as immediate contact tracers, and working to address other negative factors impacting community health.

(05/08/20) Ensuring the Growth of Telehealth During COVID-19 Does Not Exacerbate Disparities in Care
A blog post describing how the move to provide health care services remotely via telehealth has the potential to leave many people behind, including minority and elderly populations. The post also includes potential solutions to reduce barriers and increase access to telehealth.

(05/06/20) To Strengthen the Public Health Response To COVID-19, We Need Community Health Workers
An article describing potential benefits to utilizing community health workers to both increase access of vulnerable communities to health care and aid in increasing current clinical capacity and contact tracing efforts.

(05/06/20) Mullan Institute Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute For Health Workforce Equity has developed a Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator. This tool will help state and local health departments in determining the number of contact tracers needed to trace the contacts of those diagnosed with COVID-19, helping to slow the spread of the virus.

(05/04/20) Milken Institute School Of Public Health Launches Survey Of Health Care Workers 
The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University has launched a survey to gather information about the exposure and infection of health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data from this survey will be made available publicly, aiding researchers in identifying and developing policies and practices to best address the pandemic and keep workers safe.

(04/29/20) Primary Care Is Being Devastated By COVID-19. It Must Be Saved
An article describing the crisis primary care practices are in amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, given significant revenue shortages from the steep reduction of routine visits and procedures. Some suggestions from the authors include developing a temporary fixed payment for services per patient per month and increasing the investment in primary care per dollar spent on health care

(04/29/20) How To Care For Health Professionals During Crisis And Beyond
This article from the American Medical Association outlines some important considerations for organizations during times of crisis and offers suggestions and resources for planning for organizational changes to support the health workforce both during and after the COVID-19 crisis passes.

(04/28/20) AGS COVID-19 Policy Brief Offers Roadmap To Government Action In Oft-Overlooked Sphere: Assisted Living Facilities
This policy brief from the American Geriatrics Society discusses strategies for responding to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities. It is a follow up to their policy brief on nursing homes released April 8, 2020. Strategies discussed range from federal to local levels of response.

(04/28/20) We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned
An article from NPR discussing the current capacity of public health workers for contact tracing, including a breakdown of plans from 41 states on how to address the needed surge.

(04/27/20) Navigating The Workforce Implications Of COVID-19
Consultants from the Deloitte Consulting group outline strategies to address workforce issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies include empowering the clinical workforce, improving telehealth usage and supporting remote work policies.

(04/23/20) Washington’s Health Workforce Sentinel Network Early COVID-19 Response Report: Dentist Offices/Dental Clinics
This report from the Washington Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board and the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies details responses from dentist offices and dental clinics in Washington State on the impact of COVID-19 on their workforce and operations.

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