Hospitals Are Taking a Financial Hit Due to COVID — Does This Make Them Less Safe?

 

The widespread economic impact of COVID caused damage in virtually every industry imaginable. The health care sector, in particular, has dealt with major losses, prompted by a reduction in elective services and the inability of some patients to pay for COVID treatment.

Unfortunately, the current financial issues causing headaches for hospital staff also affect patients. The following are a few of the most notable concerns that are impacting quality of care in the midst of the pandemic:

Understaffed Facilities

At a time when most hospital beds are full, you might expect to see more health care workers on the job. In reality, however, fewer professionals are currently available to provide prompt, attentive care. This understaffing can be blamed, to an extent, on efforts to limit transmission for immunocompromised employees. In many cases, however, the more pressing problem involves a lack of funding for payroll.

The health care workers who remain on the job struggle to keep up with the growing demand. Higher caseloads and sicker patients make these professionals more prone to mistakes.

Lack of Equipment

Many facilities struggle to invest in the advanced equipment and technological systems needed to provide efficient and accurate care. Patients cannot always depend on necessary equipment being available when it’s required.

In other cases, the right tools might be on hand, but not the staff members with the niche skills needed to operate such systems. Sadly, even a few minutes of waiting can prove devastating when time-sensitive illnesses are present.

Another equipment issue that warrants concern: limited PPE supplies coupled with increased costs for what few items remain available. Shortages are still common in many regions, increasing the potential for hospital-acquired infections.

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