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COVID-19 Lessons Learned Sharing
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This blog is meant to share lessons learned and novel ideas being used in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please share any helpful processes and ideas that you have to help your fellow healthcare workers in their response. Stay safe!!


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Top tags: COVID-19  Coronavirus  improvement  Mental Health  report  templates 

AAR/Improvement Matrix

Posted By Kristi Sanger, Monday, July 13, 2020
Here is an AAR/Improvement Matrix document that you can use after conducting your COVID After Action Conference. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Download File (DOCX)

Tags:  Coronavirus  COVID-19  improvement  report  templates 

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EMS and EM Coordinator

Posted By Danielle Albinger, Monday, July 13, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Does anyone have an AAR template that is more user friendly than the HSEEP template to use for our COVID AAR? Also, if anyone has any tips or suggestions regarding how to write the COVID AAR, I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you. Danielle  

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How we started managing COVID-19 and Continuing

Posted By Mysore S. Kumar, Friday, May 29, 2020

We all are fighting with the invisible enemy, we don’t know when we will win. The real soldiers for this enemy are Healthcare workers. Almost the fight is going on from last 5 to 6 months, still don’t know when will be the last day, or it will come or not. By considering the threat, we created the command center for our group of Hospitals. Receiving first patient, we never thought that our bed capacity will over within 15 days. Then we planned for the increase surge capacity. We utilized each possibility in the Hospital for COVID-19 Patients. Full admin staff offices are converted with Patients rooms. Staff started working without breaks for long hours with PPE’S. We abandon all admin activities and utilized the staff for managing different areas. Instructions for some admin staff to work from home.

Many clinical and non clinical staff’s started coming positive. This we expected and arranged the quarantine accommodation for non serious cases. Most are asymptomatic positive cases. Quarantined staffs families are taken special care by Human Resource department. This boosted the moral of the all frontline staffs. Many medic staffs want to distance from and protect their families. We provided dozens of free room in the hotels to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and other medical staff who need places to stay.

Testing of staff is another priority for the organization. Regular testing of staffs who are directly working with the COVID-19 patients. This given an additional confidence among the HCW staffs.

The concept of Fever Clinic stationed outside the hospitals.  All patients are screened prior to entering the hospital to avoid the risk to HCW and other ill patients in the vicinity. After the screening, any suspected cases of COVID-19 are then safely moving to the Fever Clinic stationed outside the hospitals. This system helped us with early detection and contain spread of infection inside the hospital.

Considering the amount of stress undergoing among the staffs, we introduced live wellness programs for all employees through online applications/mobile app. Program was aimed at training the employees to deal with stress and stay both mentally and physically fit during this COVID time. The program included live streaming of six yoga sessions and fitness sessions.

Strategy prepared for the optimization of PPE availability, which is ensuring the rational and appropriate selection of PPE as per the clinical setting. The aim is to save the PPE consumption without compromising safety to the HCW.

Special appreciation given to each nurse on International Nursing day for their exceptional job by the top management. This recognition is another line of motivation. 

Tags:  COVID-19 

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Mental health, mental health, MENTAL HEALTH!

Posted By Kristi Sanger, Thursday, April 30, 2020


COVID-19 has hit its peak in many places and cases are on the decrease. From what I am hearing across the country, though, this decrease is not happening fast. Healthcare workers are overwhelmed, healthcare facilities are still near capacity and patients keep coming in. And there is still a risk of cases increasing again as we re-open the country. Reports of medical caregivers getting overwhelmed mentally are happening more and more frequently. There are reports from all across the country of increased substance and alcohol consumption. There are reports healthcare worker suicides.  Why are we failing to prevent this? There are some programs happening across the country aiming to train more people in Psychological First Aid.  Is there enough time to get enough people trained? Is it too late? Will this actually help those healthcare staff that have already endured such intense scenarios of overwhelming death? What really helps these folks mentally could be time away from the situation, but we can’t give them that. We need them too much. More hugs and smiles? 6 feet and masks....we can do neither. More time to socialize and talk through our stress... again, sheltering away and zoom isn’t the same. And what about the other medical professionals that aren’t in the hospitals or those that assist in healthcare but are not nurses and doctors? Are we providing mental health to our fire service? Our EMT’s? Our Long Term Care staff? Our environmental services staff? Our students? Our volunteers? Who else is helping that we’ve forgotten? I’m not sure this post has a lot of solutions but the problem weighs heavy on my mind. We need to protect our healthcare workers physically AND mentally. Or we won’t have anyone left by the end of this.

Please tell us what you are doing and help us learn from one another.

Tags:  Coronavirus  COVID-19  Mental Health 

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So close, yet so far....

Posted By Kristi Sanger, Monday, April 20, 2020


As of last Friday, April 17, there were only 2 weeks left of shelter in place orders for many states across the country. I don’t know about you, but April 30 can’t come soon enough. I am so ready to see friends, eat at restaurants, and have a cocktail with a cute umbrella in it at an outdoor waterfront bar. In the Midwest, spring is upon us and the warmth of the outdoors drives us toward additional temptation to get outside, take a ride on a boat, sit on a patio with friends, and get the kids OUTSIDE the house (finally) to run the energy out of them.

With the anticipation of all of this excitement also drives impatience. Can we all stay the course these last days? Will some jump too quickly back into life outside the shelter?

Two weeks left of this order and then we can get out, albeit a different experience, but yet, out!  So now what? Are we destined to ride a second wave already with the first wave barely in the rear view mirror? Will we see a case increase before or after we start re-engaging businesses and letting people go back to work? If we see it before, will there be a postponement of re-opening and thus all our anticipation for summer fun be lost because of protests over just two more weeks? If we see it after, how many lives will be lost and how many will be financially ruined when we have to go back to social distancing again so quickly?

There are many questions as to how this will look. Unfortunately with infectious disease, the actions of few will affect many. How much effect will it be.....we will know in about 7-14 days.

Tags:  Coronavirus  COVID-19 

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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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Week of April 6th, 2020 Lessons

Posted By Kristi Sanger, Friday, April 10, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2020

This is the beginning of a weekly blog to share tidbits of info that I pick up during my multitudes of webinars and calls. I hope this will help in healthcare response across the country. The best way to continue to share will be for you to add to this in your comments as well. I hope this will be a useful tool in your emergency management belt during this response. 

Tips from this week......

  • MENTAL HEALTH - this is becoming a BIG deal. HCW's are seeing and experiencing things that they have never before. Stay on top of this for your employees. If you have volunteers, be sure to include them in your mental health debriefs and programs. 
  • SHARE SUCCESSES - do this on a white board, the wall, anywhere that your staff will see. This will help with morale and mental health during this trying time. 
  • ALTERNATE CARE SITES - with the number of patients presenting at this time, tertiary sites may not be available for overflow. Get your alternate care site plan out and dust it off now.
  • TESTING - is not going away anytime soon. When we are done testing for the virus, we will move on to testing for antibodies. If you don't have processes in place for testing in your facility or partners, put these in place now. 

If you have suggestions or lessons learned to share with your peers,  please add to the comments below. We are all in this together and we will get through this!! Stay safe and wash your hands!!

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