The U.S. healthcare system has an opportunity for improvement this fall. Its initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March exposed acute issues, such as a lack of readily available personal protective equipment (PPE). It also called into question how to deliver adequate care when hospitals reached maximum capacities and access to routine care and COVID-19 testing remained scarce.
The healthcare system strained in the early stages of the pandemic because it did not utilize every avenue for care. For instance, after President Trump declared the pandemic a national emergency on March 13, patient visit volumes at urgent care clinics across the country dropped dramatically despite clinics remaining open while hospitals were filling beyond capacity. Because of the lack of effective communication and protocol, patients reported to hospital emergency departments more than usual with concerns that would have been better handled at an urgent care.
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With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of restrictive measures such as lockdowns, many facilities, including libraries working in health sciences, had to adapt their services to …