Yes, we still do Five To Saves around here.
It's been a big week. Just like every week for the past fifty-plus weeks. PPE sourcing has given way to vaccine distribution as the major headache for healthcare providers. But that all is shoving aside major, systemic issues that are still a threat - just one that takes longer to cause a systemwide collapse. Hospitals are punching sharks so they can stay afloat in freezing water.
Even though this isn't a promising way to phrase it, let's dive in.
- Health and Human Services put a lot of work into figuring out something none of us could have possibly guessed: that hospitals are struggling right now. (Okay, eyerolls aside, this is a pretty good sum-up of the struggles in each department that you may not be encountering in your day-to-day but adds up to make all of our jobs more difficult.)
- All those problems - supply chain inconsistencies; worsening staff mental health; fluctuating caseloads - are conspiring to double the number of providers with a negative operating margin this year.
- How about some good news? The vaccines are proving extremely effective.
- How about some other good news? As long as we're determined to live with the virus instead of defeating it, an oral antiviral that functions like Tamiflu for COVID-19 might be what we need.
- Oh, and the story that the whole world was watching got everyone talking about our favorite subject: supply chain. But the Suez Canal debacle was only the tip of the supply chain disruption iceberg.
(See? We got back to cold water in the end. Even though that's maybe not all that relevant, since we're experiencing unprecedentedly warm weather worldwide. But that's probably fine and will have no impact on healthcare or its supply chain anytime soon... Right?)
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