COVID-19 - and the response to it - can seem like a domino effect of unprecedented disasters. How do the facts back up - or refute - that sentiment?
Healthcare workers are by and large not responsible for the systemic failings that have led to this crisis becoming what it is. In fact, the efforts of many clinicians, supply chain workers, and support staff have been nothing short of heroic.
But that doesn't change the public perception that the pandemic response from government institutions and healthcare providers has been... less than ideal.
So let's look at how that's borne out in the numbers found in this week's five articles.
- The Washington Post did some in-depth reporting - of the kind we wish more healthcare publications thought were worth their and our time - just on the continuing struggle to source N95 masks. Some of it will be no surprise, but much of their analysis is new and vital.
- Regarding masks: a recent study by ECRI revealed that up to 70% of the N95 masks failed to provide the minimum protection against infections, including COVID-19. Which - we feel safe saying - is bad.
- Two articles from clinician and healthcare advocate Robert Pearl include important numbers: we're paying attention to misleading coronavirus stats, and the state of the nation is very much not "back to normal."
- No huge surprise, then, that Americans polled revealed that public confidence in healthcare institutions is eroding. Fast.
- Which isn't entirely fair. Many of the problems of sourcing - as we discussed in last week's blog and podcast - were beyond healthcare's ability to respond. And the ongoing stress of shortages, furloughs, and overwhelming caseloads is contributing to a massive amount of stress on healthcare workers. So much so that many are considering leaving the field.
But we can't help provide this service that we know is so important - we can't keep helping, in whatever ways we can, to save lives - if we walk away.
So, as disheartening as it can be, let's keep pushing forward together. Z5 Inventory is here to help with PPE. See how else we can help, too.