by James C. Sherlock
I update here the continuing scandals in Virginia nursing home understaffing and COVID-19 testing.
In a quarterly update, the percentage of understaffed nursing homes and the Virginia’s relative standing among the states and D.C. in that statistic every quarter are posted on Medicare Nursing Home Compare. Here are the data from 03/30/2020:
- Fifty-one percent of Virginia nursing homes are understaffed (below average or much below average).
- Virginia ranks 45th worst of 51 among states and D.C. in percentage of nursing homes understaffed.
- Forty-two Virginia nursing homes are rated one star (much below average)
I will update Virginia COVID-19 testing data weekly.
- Virginia testing per million persons ranks 50th of 51 among states and D.C. (Only Kentucky is worse). Source covidtracking.com uses only official state government data and is updated daily. This ranking is from 04/24/2020
by James Sherlock
This morning, March 15, I sent an email to Dr. Dan Carey, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources, to the Medical Society of Virginia and to the Medical Society of Northern Virginia. I offered a concept for significantly and quickly increasing the number of medical personnel available for COVID-19 response in Virginia and perhaps across the nation. The gist of that email was as follows:
There are a lot of medical specialties that will see a decrease in patient visits while the emergency is in effect. Perhaps you can figure (or have figured) out a way to organize that situation into an informal reserve force for the hospitals and primary care providers. I have an idea on how to do that. You may have better ones.
My idea is to organize a voluntary signup program for doctors, nurses and technicians built around doctors’ practices that will have a much lower influx of patients during this period. You know the specialties that fit that description better than I. Examples may include ophthalmologists and dermatologists. One way to do that is for those specialty offices to organize their reduced patient loads into say four days a week rather than five, or maybe even more if their practices are more heavily impacted by near-term cancellations. They could then sign up for that day or days as available for temporary call-up by local hospitals, primary care practices, nursing homes and others for emergency assistance.