The current COVID-19 pandemic has surely changed lifestyles for most. It has been four months since the outbreak, and individuals are still trying to navigate their way through this new normal. Amidst all of this, there is one place that is going through one of the biggest changes – hospitals. Although hospitals are always open to accommodate needs, this pandemic has changed it more than ever. From the hospital’s operation, systems, regulations, precautions, and even the lives of medical professionals. It has clearly impacted them more than most. Work and efforts are multiplied. Let us take a closer look at how hospitals are adapting, coping, and changing during this global crisis.
Added Time to Check and Take Inventory
With the numbers of cases today, there’s no doubt about the fact that hospitals are put in high demand and are experiencing a large surge in patients during this crisis. Individuals that are coming in and out of hospitals are multiplied. Shortages in supply are bound to happen if operations don’t take a look into this matter. Masks, gowns, and medical equipment could be running out in a matter of a few days! This is why hospitals are taking more time and effort to focus on inventory. They are loading up on personal protective equipment (PPEs), ventilators, beds, and face masks for both patients and staff. And this doesn’t only go for equipment, inventory also extends to the number of people on staff, their vacancy rate, and how it could be filled.
Constantly Planning For the Well Being Of The Employees
It is a huge challenge for healthcare professionals and for those on the frontlines to balance the value of coordination, health, and responsiveness right now. Past structures are now being totally inadequate during this fast-moving crisis and schedules before the pandemic won’t work in this new normal. Fatigue is much quicker to set in, and healthcare staff could become less focused if breaches in the protocol aren’t taken in place. What most hospitals are doing is extending teams for patient care rotation. There are more staff and groups that are coming in and out so everyone can get enough rest to take on their next shift. Some hospitals are also preventing healthcare professionals to be ill with the COVID-19 virus, providing them with the best solutions in operations and implementing stricter hygienic measures than ever before. Sick patients (even those who don’t have the virus) are highly encouraged to stay at home. Personnel who develop fever, respiratory symptoms are instructed to not report to work.
Aside from this, hospitals are also communicating efficiently with their staff by sharing information regarding the current updates on the situation, the potential for surge, and are being transparent about the facility preparedness plan.
Changes with Internal Monitoring and Reporting Protocol
All hospitals establish their own rules and protocol for safety and hygienic measures, of course. However, in these times, extra effort needs to be done for everyone’s safety, health and well-being. They are staying up to date on the best ways to manage both COVID-19 patients and other patients. Because of course, there are still patients who need to address medical needs COVID-19 aside.
Because of this fact, the CDC states that it is advisable for hospitals to separate patients with fever, respiratory symptoms, and other symptoms so they are waiting among other patients who are seeking care for COVID-19.
They also stated that hospitals should also consider strategies such as telephone systems for patients who can be cared for at home. This is for their ultimate protection. COVID-19 risks are much higher for vulnerable patients (seniors and those with underlying health problems). For them to stay at home, telehealth is now suggested to practicing engaging, protecting, and serving those patients who are in need.
Also, hospitals nowadays are now putting up a number of dividers for the sake of the virus not being able to spread from person to person.
COVID-19 has affected many lifestyles, and one of the places that are still experiencing its impact are hospitals and healthcare professionals. Hospital’s operations are currently changing and assessing and improving their preparedness to respond to the community-wide outbreak of COVID-19 that is still ongoing.