COVID-19 has posed a great challenge for healthcare workers to provide safe, uncompromised care. At our institution, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, we have created a command center as the main source of information about the virus and logistic planning. This gets updated frequently as more details surface and is communicated to all members electronically.
We also feel that the following practice points are important as we gear up to fight against COVID-19. Our purpose is to share information that might be helpful to our hospital medicine colleagues while they are preparing or, in majority of the cases, are already delivering the best possible care.
- Dedicated Hospitalist Teams
We have assigned two hospital medicine services to take care of COVID-19 rule out and COVID-19- positive patients who are stable for general floor care. This allows fewer physicians to be exposed at any given time. Although we have teaching rounds, we are limiting one person to visit the patient.
- Geographically Dedicated Floors
All patients who are being admitted to the above services are also located on the same floor. This improved sufficiency in care delivery since nursing staff is much more familiar with the current plan of care that is essentially very similar in most of these patients.
At our institution, we chose a pulmonary unit so that it is an easy transition for care teams, including respiratory therapists and nurses, while ensuring that we have adequate supplies there.
- Emergency Staffing Planning
We will have two on-call physicians ready and available every day in case of emergency. It is anticipated that the number of patients requiring hospitalization will rise and that some physicians will need to be quarantined.
At this time, we have telemedicine care being delivered by multiple specialties. Our hospital medicine division is also working with the IT Department to utilize available telemedicine tools to reduce exposure while delivering effective care. We are anticipating implementation within the next week.
- Updated Visitor Policy
We have updated our visitor policy to limit the number of visitors allowed per patient.