‘Alarming’ Staffing Vacancy Rate Undermines Care For Veterans, Report Finds
Most of the nearly 40,000 vacancies are for medical and dental staff such as doctors and nurses. In other health personnel and hospital news, NPR reports on ways hospitals are trying to combat rising maternal mortality rates.
Too Few Doctors And Nurses For Veterans In Some Areas
As the nation prepares to honor its veterans Nov. 12, many veterans in rural areas and some cities still face long wait times for health care because there aren’t enough doctors, nurses and support staff to provide it. Almost 40,000 of the 335,000 positions in the Veterans Health Administration are vacant, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees the VHA. The VHA serves about 9 million veterans. (Henderson, 11/7)
How Hospitals Can Tackle The Maternal Mortality Crisis
Having a baby in the United States can be dangerous. American women are more likely than women in any other developed country to die during childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications. And while other countries' maternal death rates have gone down, U.S. rates have risen since 2000, a fact that has left both doctors and expectant mothers concerned about the state of maternity care in this country. But many of these problems could be prevented if hospitals would standardize the way they care for women in labor, according to the authors of a recent essay in the New England Journal of Medicine. They say hospitals can improve quality of care for three common complications in childbirth: heavy bleeding after delivery known as postpartum hemorrhage, problems with high blood pressure, and blood clots before or after delivery. (Gordon, 11/6)