California’s hospitals could have used a lighthouse earlier this month.
The new year has brought with it a series of challenges.
It’s hard to believe, but it is already mid-December and the new year is just around the corner. As I look back on 2022, it feels like it was just yesterday that hospitals were dealing with the impacts of the omicron surge. Now, with some hospitals at or near capacity and emergency department and inpatient rates equal to or higher than what you experienced during omicron, your hospitals have — once again — stepped up to meet the health care needs of Californians as COVID-19, flu, and RSV collide to create a “tripledemic.”
Earlier this week, the Hospital Council Board of Trustees held its first in-person meeting since January 2020. While the board continued to meet regularly yet virtually throughout the pandemic, it was great to have both our current board members and our new incoming board members in-person for this occasion.
In the South Bay, affordable housing is so scarce that one hospital is bussing some employees in from the Central Valley, often putting them up at hotels during the week.
At all levels of government — local, state, and federal — decisions are made that will dramatically impact how hospitals deliver first-in-class care. For this reason, it’s vital to help elect candidates who share hospital values.
While COVID-19 may have brought to light many health care inequities, they are nothing new. Disparate health outcomes for minorities, individuals experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ+, and other segments of California’s population have been documented for decades and reflect longstanding structural and systemic inequities that are rooted in racism and discrimination. Today, the disparities have risen to the level of a public health crisis in California, and your hospitals are on the front lines of addressing these inequities.
From fires and floods to earthquakes — and now record-setting high temperatures — your hospitals have seen it all. The recent heatwave posed unique challenges to the state’s energy grid, and although hospitals were specifically exempted from any potential rotating outages, Hospital Council truly thanks you for conserving power when possible while ensuring patient safety was never compromised.
Getting kicked, scratched, pushed, or threatened has become far too commonplace for health care workers and staff in a hospital.
Ambulance patient offload times (APOT) — a longstanding issue that has been exacerbated by COVID-19 — remain problematic in many parts of our region. While the APOT issues are ultimately realized inside the hospital, a significant number of the factors causing APOT delays occur outside the hospital. These include: