It goes without saying that there is a high demand for healthcare right now. As hospitals take on more and more patients, many suffering from COVID-19, healthcare facilities need to keep up or patients will not be able to get the care they need.
So, what can your facility to do weather the current pandemic and make sure that you have the resources and staffing that you need to meet the requirements at hand? Here are a few tips to think about.
Assess Staffing Needs Early
There’s no better way to deal with an emergency situation than by being prepared ahead of time. While that can be easier said than done, especially during the current crisis, assessing your staffing needs as early as possible is always a good idea. With any luck, you’ll have already anticipated an increased need for additional nurses and healthcare workers for the normal flu season — that can be a huge help now that the coronavirus pandemic is in full swing. Try to get a good idea of the predicted impact of COVID-19 in your community by reaching out to local or state government, allowing you to assess your needs in the future as best as you can.
Designate an Infection Prevention Practitioner
Johns Hopkins’ Center for Health Security recommends designating a full-time infection prevention practitioner for your healthcare facility. This individual will be responsible for doing everything possible to prevent the spread of infection in your facility, both between patients and staff. They will take care of all training, education, and exercises to help staff be prepared to halt the spread of infection in and around your facility.
Allocate Resources Appropriately
Staying on top of your facility’s resource management is a must during a pandemic, as it is during any other time. Now more than ever, the leaders at your facility must be aware of what kind of resources — both equipment and staff — are currently available and what might need to be addressed in the future. The ultimate goal is to allocate resources in the most efficient, ethical, and organized way possible. That way, the resources that your facility has been doing the most good for most individuals.
Find Additional Staff
At the end of the day, the sheer number of extra patients that your facility needs to care for during a time like this can only be addressed by additional staff. That allows you to avoid running your existing staff ragged, which only harms patients in the long run.