As we brace for a surge in demand for critical care for Covid-19 patients, hospital readiness is more critical now than ever before. Facing a potentially overwhelming increase in the number of critically ill patients seeking care, hospitals may need to make fundamental changes in the way they allocate space, staff, and stuff—changes that may have been unthinkable only a few weeks ago.
Let’s begin with space. Hospitals across the country have cancelled elective surgeries and repurposed operating rooms and post-anesthesia care units to serve as intensive care unit (ICU) spaces. In addition, in some communities, health care leaders are weighing the possibility of opening shuttered hospitals and, where possible, using available ICU beds in Veterans Affairs hospitals.
Author(s): Mahshid Abir, Kaitlyn Entel, Christopher Nelson