Hospitals Redeploy Specialists to COVID-19 Front Lines
In tandem with hospitals' work reassigning specialists, regulators nationwide have jumped into action to authorize doctors and hospitals to do what's necessary to make prudent use of their resources, even if that makes working outside of their usual safeguards. In California, for example, the state public health department effectively suspended all licensing regulations that apply to hospitals and advised them to do what's best for patients.
“It's in the category of things I've never seen and never thought I would see. It's very carefully worded, but it just says, 'We're not looking over your shoulder,'" Lowell said.
Internal medicine subspecialists like cardiologists and oncologists receive training early in their medical educations on the basic pulmonary issues that are prominent in COVID-19 patients.
“It's not unheard of and I don't think it creates a liability by itself for someone to step into lower level of expertise if they have training in that level of expertise. Generally, though, physicians are not going to take on care they know they're not competent to provide.”
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