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Caring for COVID-19 patients – Hospitals will not be able to handle the volume of patients

Can Hospitals Around the Nation Keep Up? – Harvard Global Health Institute. Counting every bed, in every major hospital market, to inform community response – Cambridge, MA, March 17, 2020 — “When it comes to caring for a surge of COVID-19 patients, a closer look at hospital capacity in communities across the United States reveals significant differences in readiness. A new model that builds on bed capacity data for each of 306 U.S. hospital markets — so called Hospital Referral Regions (HRR) — now provides important localized estimates of available beds, and beds needed to accommodate COVID-19 patients over the coming months. It also illuminates where hospitals might find additional bed and ICU bed capacity as well as other shortages that need to be addressed—from workforce to ventilators. The model was developed by an experienced team of health system researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and is launched in collaboration with ProPublica, and in sync with news reports in The New York Times and CBS Morning News. The HGHI team collaborated with ProPublica and worked with The New York Times to fact-check, interpret, contextualize and visualize the data for policy makers, hospitalists and citizens alike. “Pandemics are a time when we need to share information fast, but we also need to be accurate and explain what our estimates mean, especially when they are scary estimates,” says Stefanie Friedhoff, director of content and strategy at HGHI and a veteran journalist. “So we felt it was important to work with some of the best journalists in the nation on getting this right.”

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