HJAR May/Jun 2020

48 MAY / JUN 2020 I  HEALTHCARE JOURNAL OF ARKANSAS DIALOGUE COLUMN UROLOGY FORADMINISTRATORS and providers, that shift has prompted a deep dive into care ca- pacity. How do we plan for a spike in new, se- verely sick patients? Inside our hospitals, the baseline metric for care is bed count, which is a medical supply, strictly speaking, that refers to facility space. Arkansas has nearly 8,000 hospital beds by one estimate, and yet some models suggest our capacity will be tested as the pandemic reaches its peak. Many specialty practices around the state are asking what we can do as a non-emer- gency medical center to help our frontline providers. We are prioritizing, even facilitat- ing, doctors’andmedical specialists’rotations and assignments in hospitals acrossArkansas. All of us got intomedicine to help people, and that mission is never clearer than when the most people need the most help. About 10 percent of Americans will get kid- ney stones at some time in their lives, and around 600,000 Americans visit an ER for treatment and pain management each year. We know that kidney stones are common and relatively harmless, but they are so painful that sufferers will seek relief anywhere they can. Strategies to elevate patient care capac- ity ahead of peak need include expedited out- patient kidney stone treatment programs and an emphasis on telemedicine. Treat- ment center intakes are being accelerated in an effort to offload emergency department visits, expanding capacity on the front lines. Treatment center patients can be treated in 24 to 48 hours and avoid hospital operating rooms for treatment, or ERs for pain man- agement. Kidney stones can be treated surgi- cally, when needed, to help those patients and All Healing Hands On Deck As a nation, we have not experienced such a sudden and meaningful shift in our comfort and well-being, due to a contagious outbreak, as we are experiencing today with COVID-19.