Findings from an OIG survey of hospital administrators across 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico found ongoing COVID-19-related challenges for hospitals. Many respondents cited exhausted and traumatized staff which has led to staffing shortages and mental health concerns. It remains to be seen what challenges may await hospitals and their workforce even after the worst of the pandemic has passed. Survey responses such as these from hospitals across the country suggest that long-term problems may linger beyond the pandemic due to hospitals operating in "survival mode" for so long, which has depleted resources and exhausted providers.
In February 2021, hospitals reported that operating in "survival mode" for an extended period of time has created new and different problems than experienced earlier in the pandemic and exacerbated longstanding challenges in health care delivery, access, and health outcomes.