As NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a federal inquiry over his administration’s handling and reporting of COVID-19-related nursing home deaths, ICAP’s Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, commented in a recent article published in City & State NY on the importance of accurate data in an emergency public health response. The more detailed and complete a picture the data paints, the better health officials and policymakers are able to respond to a crisis. In the case of nursing homes, reporting deaths that occurred in facilities and in hospitals would have been incredibly useful, said Dr. El-Sadr.
“It gives you a much better sense of the magnitude of the impact when you combine those two pieces of data together,” she said. “Maybe having those numbers aggregated would have led to raising the flag earlier about the catastrophe that was happening in nursing homes – not just in New York City or New York state – but across the country.”