COVID-19 Surge Planning Solutions

Hospitals across the United States will be challenged over the next few months as the country attempts to accommodate the increased number of patients that will need care due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Here are several potential ways that hospitals can prepare for the expected increase in affected patients seeking medical care:

  • Understand where your community and hospital stand related to the pandemic curve (all states and communities will be affected at different times).
  • Hold twice-daily meetings to discuss the latest information related to the pandemic cases in the community, hospital bed capacity, potential inpatient cases, and elective surgery cancellation so that adjustments can be made quickly as needed.
  • Open a hospital command center (e.g., HICS – hospital incident command system).
  • Consider telemetry triage.
  • Close the hospital cafeteria, initiate virtual staff meetings, and attempt to allow as many hospital personnel as possible to work from home to halt spread among staff.
  • As more is learned about the virus, follow the latest guidelines related to screening at all entrances to the hospital to protect patients and staff.
  • Prepare to cohort patients that have coronavirus in a large space separate from the rest of the inpatient population (for example, auditorium space).
  • Make intensive care units (ICUs) “closed”: ICU intensivists should manage all admissions and transfer decisions.
  • Communicate twice a day to staff about status of the hospital and changes that have occurred regarding the pandemic.

The above changes to operations will assist organizations to better manage capacity over the next few months as patient volumes increase.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, position, or policy of Berkeley Research Group, LLC or its other employees and affiliates.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars