Taking Our Own Pulse in Considering Medication Changes

January 10, 2021

In the irreverent classic The House of God,1 one of Samuel Shem's rules for physicians was “First, take your own pulse.” The reason for this is that often in a crisis we may rush to act, missing our mark. Such has been the case with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in post-acute and long-term care (PALTC). The COVID-19 pandemic has been a devastating catastrophe for PALTC residents in the United States and worldwide. Because of the lack of traditional high-quality data (and despite rapid availability of data online), medical professionals are often left to make clinical decisions based on anecdotal, poor-quality, or purely theoretical grounds.