At a time when capacity and reimbursement are more important than ever, case managers play a key role in helping operations run smoothly. One way this happens is through monitoring the entry points of the hospital. These points include the emergency department, post-anesthesia care unit, direct admission to the units, or transfers from other facilities. This is not to say case managers should now add “security guard” to their extensive list of roles and tasks; rather, they are uniquely positioned to survey the whole picture, including how entry points are used.
With many COVID-19 deaths unreported in the United States, researchers estimate the actual death toll of the pandemic is closer to 1 million than the 574,043 reported from March 1, 2020, to May 3, 2021. Looking at excess mortality data, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation calculated 905,289 COVID-19 deaths occurred in the U.S. during that period. That is 58% higher than the official numbers.
The sheer size of the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials will enhance prelicensure safety and efficacy evaluation. Many post-market evaluations are in development to bolster existing surveillance for adverse events.
Researchers have used the 2018 public health surveillance exception to the Common Rule for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early weeks of the pandemic, researchers might have overused this exception. Federal agencies approved some protocols involving lines of genetic materials with explicit research purposes, even if these were secondary to the public health surveillance purpose.
Prevention strategies are necessary to limit transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms in the hospital, especially in high-risk settings. Identification of carriers of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organisms via active surveillance, and contact isolation of positives, has been recommended for certain high-risk groups.