Buckle In

Buckle In

When we rung in the New Year, many called the decade upon us the New Roaring 20’s. March 2020 required a seatbelt buckled in tight.

  • Coronavirus became a regular part of our daily vocabulary.
  • Positive cases began to rise on the West and East coast.
  • For the 1st time in 58 years, HIMSS was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
  • The heavily anticipated rules were released.
  • Handshakes & hugs were replaced with elbow bumps and head nods.
  • A surreal global pandemic grew.
  • The world was reminded of proper hand-washing, cough hygiene, and social responsibility.
  • Social isolation started.
  • Stock markets tumbled.
  • Schools closed, home-schooling began.
  • Businesses closed.
  • Working remotely became expected.
  • Countless have lost their jobs.
  • Life transferred to Zoom, GoToMeetings, FaceTime, or the hospital ICU.
  • Front-line caregivers began running out of supplies.
  • Our visits with the elderly happened through a window pane.
  • Delays in testing and shortages of ventilators became grim.
  • We watched Italy collapsing in front of our eyes, death tolls rising.
  • Weddings, funerals, and graduations were cancelled.
  • The scramble for COVID-19 testing grew into desperation.
  • HIPAA requirements were loosened.
  • The tolls on mental and physical health for those on the front lines: catastrophic.
  • Grocery stores were ransacked, with no toilet paper, hand-sanitizer, cleaning supplies, or essentials in sight.
  • Patients considered high-risk, due to multiple comorbidities, disabilities, being immunocompromised, or in active treatment for cancer were filled with the depths of fear and anxiety.
  • Procedures, surgeries, and treatments were cancelled or postponed.
  • More and more doctors and nurses became sick caring for the most vulnerable of patients.
  • Telemedicine became a necessary lifeline.

The disparities of our healthcare system and the barriers patients face in getting the care they need have never been more self-evident.

The need for patient access to all health information is undeniable. The need for educating patients about the importance of their medical and health information is indisputable. The need to support hospitals to provide tools to best support patients and their carepartners is of essence.

We at Unblock Health have been busy supporting patients, carepartners, and health systems around the clock during what will forever be noted in history as the pandemic of COVID-19.

We look forward to sharing our takeaways and experiential learnings throughout April. In the meantime, we wish you all to stay safe, as healthy as possible while practicing social distancing.

If you haven’t done so already, check out our Patient Impact Stories collection, , also excitedly launched this month, which highlights all the reasons why having access to your health information can be literally a matter of life and death. While you are practicing social distancing, consider submitting your own stories to be added to this dynamic collection!

Yours in Unblocking Health,

Shahid Shah & Grace Cordovano

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