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Some parts of this country are past the peak, so now what?

Posted By Kristi Sanger, Friday, April 17, 2020


One of the most interesting questions posed on one of my many calls and webinars this week was this – What can we do to prepare for the second surge, now that many are beyond the peak? So, this is what we as preparedness professionals do, right? Or does this seem like overkill after we’ve already been through the “ringer” so recently? Well, regardless of how much you (and I) would prefer to NOT running full steam ahead to plan for the next big thing, we have no choice. Listed below are some things that really stood out to me as attainable goals to reach for in the upcoming months.

·      Communications. As with every AAR done in the history of AAR’s, this is coming up in lessons learned AND a priority for planning for the next wave. We need pre-crafted messaging for non-English speaking patients that find themselves isolated in a healthcare facility without their advocates, pre-scripted information on end of life decisions needing to be made, public health info for the community about spread of the virus, how to protect themselves and others and when the right time is to present to the hospital with symptoms. Yes, messaging is still vital to disaster response. (if there was any doubt)

·      Telemedicine. We know that life will not be the same when we are allowed to go back to treating non-emergent patients again. There will be a strong desire from patients and from clinicians to be able to utilize telemedicine for all appointments that can be safely done this way. Let’s get this working NOW!

·      PPE sterilization. Can we get this process and nationally accepted guidance finalized before our next wave?

·      Train your staff. Develop algorithms and training for clinicians so that we are ready to “Train Up”. Experts recommend training your front line staff to do more advanced procedures than they normally would rather than training someone completely out of the field to do procedures that they are completely unfamiliar with. (aka. Train your critical care nurse to intubate rather than a dermatologist to intubate. Just because they are an MD doesn’t mean they can intubate.) So what does this look like? Training now? Just in time training? Something else?

·      Training and EXERCISE. Lastly, the staple of disaster preparedness. You are bound to have new processes in place by now. Formally train people now. Don’t forget to test in ideal conditions to ensure you have the best possible way to do things. Let’s be MORE ready for this 3 months from now!!


So what are you working on? Still trying to get through round 1? Planning for the rest of this thing? Or are you somewhere in between?

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