Future of Healthcare Workspace with Social Distancing

Future of Healthcare Workspace with Social Distancing

Future of Healthcare Workspace with Social Distancing 626 417 kupplinadmin

Here are some protocols the healthcare workforce should establish to keep the environment safe at the Hospital:

  • Screen and mask: Daily screening process for all staff, patients, and families entering the hospital will allow you to reinforce the importance of social distancing. Any team member describing or showing coronavirus symptoms should be immediately tested.
  • Communicate social distancing tips: Communication is important to give everyone confidence – clinicians and teams providing care, as well as patients and their families. The command centre can also provide daily house-wide updates that not only include items related to the emergency measures, team needs, and protocols, but also key social distancing reminders.
  • Telemedicine: Through work from home options and telemedicine, you will be able to create more passageway space in our corridors and offices, which continues to provide protection to team members and patient families by reducing density.
  • Reducing foot traffic: As we look to a future of increasing patient care volumes, active planning on how to maintain a safe environment in the perioperative areas, the hospital wards, and clinics is required.

Some guidelines can also include the following for acute care-

  • Target one in-person MD visit per day for stable patients. This means that attending reexaminations of patients seen by residents, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and so on would not be done for billing or teaching purposes, only when clinically necessary.
  • Use phone or video conferencing for follow-up discussions unless direct patient contact is needed.
  • Consider skipping daily exams on patients who do not require them, such as patients awaiting placement or stably receiving long courses of antibiotics. Interview them remotely or from the door instead.
  • Conduct team rounds, patient discussions, and handoffs with all members 6 feet apart or by telephone or video. Avoid shared workrooms. Substitute video conferences for in-person meetings. Use EMR embedded messaging to reduce face-to-face discussions.
  • Check if a patient is ready for a visit before donning PPE to avoid waste.
  • Explain to patients that distancing is being conducted to protect them. In our experience, when patients are asked about distancing, they welcome the changes.
  • Reduce the frequency of taking vital signs, such as just daily or as needed, in stable patients (for example, those awaiting placement).
  • Reduce checks for alcohol withdrawal and neurologic status as soon as possible, and stop fingersticks in patients with well-controlled diabetes not receiving insulin.
  • Substitute less frequently administered medications where appropriate if doing so would reduce room traffic (such as enoxaparin for heparin, ceftriaxone for cefazolin, naproxen for ibuprofen, or patient-controlled analgesia for as needed morphine).
  • Place intravenous pumps in halls if needed – luckily, our situation has not required these measures in San Diego.
  • Explore the possibility of increased patient self-management (self-dosed insulin or inhalers) wherever medically appropriate.
  • Eliminate food service and janitorial trips to isolation rooms unless requested by a registered nurse.


The Hospitalist


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.