Fireside Chat on Coronavirus with Host, Dr. Hillary Blackburn

In this episode on Easter Sunday, we have a fireside chat with podcast host, Hillary Blackburn.

Great article: HBR’s What Will U.S. Health Care Look Like After the Pandemic? Robert S. Huckman

We’ve been talking about redesigning healthcare for a while now, and there’s nothing like a pandemic to accelerate it into a recreate mode. Crisis has increased demand for healthcare workers due to increasing cases and hospitalizations. To meet that demand, healthcare staff have been redirected from elective treatments (scheduled surgeries, etc) to care for COVID-19 pts. In some states, like NY, they’ve even allowed 4th year med students to graduate early to meet the frontline demand.

We’re also seeing regulations loosened to allow for expanded scope of practice. States are allowing professionals to practice across state lines to meet the demand.
Many regulations have been eased or suspended to improve patient care. For instance in TN:
Pharmacist: tech ratio
90 day supplies without authorization
Remote verification of prescriptions
Authorization for telehealth *this is not federal since they still require PartB providers

Pharmacists are stepping up across the country playing an invaluable role in getting patients their medications, navigating new COVID-19 treatment options, and managing drug shortages.
There are multiple reliable sources of information for COVID-19 including our associations – APhA even has CE, ASHP has drug shortage and treatment updatse
IDSA Infectious Disease Society of America released practice guidelines for COVID-19 on April 11
Agreed on 7 treatment options and that patients should be recruited into existing clinical trials to Many of the treatments have additional safety concerns and should be individualized based on symptoms and underlying health conditions.
For patients who have been admitted to the hospital and in the context of a clinical trial:
+ azithromycin (however, this combo increases the risk of QT prolongation and should really be reserved for those patients with bacterial pneumonia)
Kaletra (ritonavir/lopinavir)
AGAINST the use of corticosteroids UNLESS with ARDS
Convalescent plasma

APhA and other pharmacy associations have put together policy recommendations including:
Test and treatment of infectious diseases, such as flu, strep and COVID-19. Including allowing immunizations across all states
HHS has issued guidance to allow pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 diagnostic tests. CVS and Walgreens have ramped up testing sites.
Ease operational workflows including allowing pharmacists to participate in telehealth and across state lines
Allow therapeutic substitutions for drug shortages
Reimburse for services provided within the scope

There has been a shortage of primary care workers for years, particularly as the Boomer generation continues to age. How can we continue to utilize nonphysicians – like pharmacists and others to fill in these gaps on this crisis is over?

What are some other ways that you think things will change in healthcare delivery once COVID-19 is resolved? Join the discussion on @talktoyourpharmacist FB page!