The COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 15 million individuals and claimed more than 425,000 deaths in the United States since it was first identified in the country in early 2020. The disease has inundated hospitals across the country, overloading staff and infrastructure.
Healthcare workers and industry leaders have been working to respond to this global crisis and find ways to more efficiently allocate resources during this time. To aid their efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a list of ways that healthcare systems can operate more effectively during the pandemic.
The recommendations included:
- Establish plans for supporting healthcare personnel, including mental health, parenting, and meal support as well as non-punitive sick leave policies.
- Ensure healthcare workers are well-trained on the use of personal protective equipment and consider tracking PPE supplies available using the PPE burn rate calculator.
- Incorporate and use telehealth options whenever possible, including the use of a phone advice line to address questions and concerns from potential COVID-19 patients.
- Use checklists such as the hospital preparedness checklist and the COVID-19Surge to help track and manage the surge in demand for hospital services.
- Create a communication plan to optimize information sharing with patients, healthcare providers, and the community during the pandemic. The CDC suggests options such as emails, virtual town halls, media briefings and phone conferences for staff.
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