Healthcare Leaders Release Open Letter on Coronavirus; Nurses Share Realities of COVID; Hospitals Use Telemedicine Amid Pandemic
Leading Healthcare Agencies Urge Americans to Help Flatten the Curve
A day after President Donald Trump was considering (https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/489121-trump-signals-openings-us-not-built-to-be-shut-down) lifting some of the quarantine mandates, healthcare leaders from the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association (ANA) released an open letter (https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/489242-doctors-nurses-hospitals-issue-open-letter-urging-public-to-stay-home?utm_source=hl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Advocacy_Health_policy&utm_campaign=Articles_of_Interest) urging Americans to stay home.
Nurses have been rated as the most trusted profession (https://news.gallup.com/poll/274673/nurses-continue-rate-highest-honesty-ethics.aspx.) for almost two decades, and never has it been more important to use that credibility than during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Associations representing the top providers have come together to issue statements in support of sheltering in place. The only way to currently stop the pandemic is to curtail contact, and having nurses lead the public health charge is both authentic and essential. With ANA on equal footing with the physician and hospital associations, nurses are lending their expertise to the importance of educating the public (https://voice.ons.org/stories/patient-communication-strategies-for-covid-19-conversations) about the facts of COVID-19 and how it is spread to help flatten the curve.
Nurses Respond to Online Forum With Realities of COVID Conditions
More than 1,200 healthcare workers are using a private online document (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/business/media/coronavirus-nurses-stories-anonymous.html) to share stories from the frontlines of COVID-19 coronavirus care. In their accounts, they say the outbreak (https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus) has turned American hospitals into war zones and report being afraid to go to work and anxious that they will become infected.
Until now, we’ve often spoken about personal protective equipment (PPE) in the aggregate because protecting healthcare workers is essential to quality patient care. However, reading first-hand accounts of nurses and the concerns they have for their families makes these situations very real. The unprepared system is coming to light because of the leadership of nurses. Nurses need to protect themselves before they can be of the greatest help to their patients (https://www.ons.org/coronavirus). Decision makers, policy leaders, and healthcare proponents are now understanding the need for PPE to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection, thanks to ONS advocates whose voices are bringing the message to elected officials (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/get-involved).
Hospitals Use Technology to Treat Patients Amid Social Distancing Mandates
In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and social distancing protocols, telemedicine (https://www.rollcall.com/2020/03/24/telehealth-visits-balloon-along-with-coronavirus-cases/) is gaining popularity among hospitals as a way to reduce exposure to the virus and conserve critically dwindling personal protective equipment (PPE).
With the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (S. 3548) including hundreds of billions of dollars in allocations for innovative healthcare technology, telehealth has become a way to engage patient-centered care. Because of social distancing and stay-at-home practices, medical offices are encouraging patients to call in or video conference their providers with questions (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/telehealth-visits-during-covid-19). Telehealth visits should not be used for life-threatening situations nor for elective visits during the crisis, but just as working from home has drastically and immediately changed the culture, telehealth is also transforming a vital aspect of health care in America.