Are You Ready for the Post COVID-19 Reality?
As the world hopes for a flattening of the COVID-19 outbreak curve, healthcare organizations and caregivers must quickly reflect on their capacity to deal with a new surge – the surge of delayed treatments. Operating rooms and the entire perioperative process will be stressed to meet the demand for immediate interventions. The same organizations must be mindful that a reemergence of significant numbers of COVID-19 patients could again stress their system’s ability to deal with the myriad of other illnesses that seek their attention each day.
To help prepare your organization for post COVID-19 surge patient care, consider:
- What dismantling did your organization undergo to manage surge capacity?
- Did you deploy anesthesia machines as ventilators?
- Was your perioperative staff redeployed elsewhere and were they ready to function effectively?
- Was your staff impacted emotionally? How fatigued is leadership (this may impact initial reopening)?
- Did repurposing of your PACU into an ICU delay restarting your surgical schedule? (Many PACUs had to have walls built for air handling purposes that ICUs require.)
- How prepared were and are you for the risks to surgical staff from a nosocomial transmission of coronavirus ? How clear is it now what precautions you should take to prevent this as you prepare to restart your elective surgical schedule?
- What should you do if an elective surgical patient or a member of your surgical/perioperative staff develops COVID-19? How can you prevent this from shutting down your re-start?
These are some of the questions that must be addressed as you plan for restarting your system. Perhaps even more importantly, they must be answered as plans are put in place to be certain that such national and local emergencies never again so negatively impact healthcare delivery.
Perhaps we must also address how you dealt with the usual surgical emergencies and semi-emergencies during the pandemic. Did your morbidity and mortality increase? If so, how do you plan to deal with that going forward?
As you plan for the near-term resumption of more “normal” operations what elements of longer-term planning should be addressed? SARS-CoV-2 is almost certain to reappear in the fall (even assuming it is less prevalent in coming months) coincident with seasonal influenza. What approaches should you take to deal with this likelihood – in terms of policies and procedures, testing approaches and engineering/structural controls?
These are all questions that ORDx+Rx can help answer. We can also provide the expertise to help you develop plans for your future responses. Call us today to help you prepare to face the next healthcare crisis, and to deal with those crises your organization faces every day. Together, we can be ready!